Fox T-Bird/Cougar Forums

Technical => Body/Appearance/Interior => Topic started by: 85CougarCobra on August 28, 2017, 08:41:20 AM

Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 28, 2017, 08:41:20 AM
Ok, so after my quasi failed attempt at installing Corbeau GTS II seats in my Cougar ... it was back to the drawing board.  I was able to physically install the Corbeau seats, but just wasn't happy with my driving position.  Instead of deciding to just live with it, I pulled the seats back out, sold them, and reinstalled the '87 Mustang GT buckets I've had in the car for several years.  They're great seats, but they have always irritated me a little because they are a lighter gray than my charcoal interior and the driver's side seat suffers from the usual worn out lower leg bolster and it also has a bit of the gangster lean to it ... not my doing, it was like that when I pulled them in the junkyard.  I decided staying with a factory setup was going to ultimately get me what I wanted ... something that maintained my current driving position while keeping the seats powered vs. manual, while being able to upgrade the bolstering and materials to better match my charcoal interior.

Here are Mustang seats that have since been removed from the car and sold:
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 28, 2017, 08:59:15 AM
I've had a partial spare Turbo Coupe interior that I bought awhile back.  The guy who was parting out the vehicle didn't want to break up some of the interior, so I ended up buying the front seats even though I did not need/want them at the time.  As luck would have it though, these seats ended up being the foundation for my project.  As I'm sure most of you already know, the Mustang GT seats and Turbo Coupe seats are nearly identical.  There are slight variations depending on the model year between our cars as well as the Mustang.  In my particular scenario, the '87 Mustang GT seats that I removed have what is classified as a 26" high seat back.  When I would move the seat forward to get into the back seat, the headrest would come into contact with the headliner around the sun visor area even with the seat in its lowest position.  The Turbo Coupes (and I would assume this for all of the sport seats that came in the Fox Cougar/Tbirds) used the same basic seat except that the seat back is classified as a 24" high seat back.

Here is the front Turbo Coupe seat that is being modified:
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 29, 2017, 08:34:01 AM
Disassembly of the front seats starts with removing the two bolts on the seat back adjustment lever side, disconnecting the air tube for the lumbar, and removal of the single torx head bolt on the other side.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 29, 2017, 08:45:23 AM
After removing the seat tracks from the base of the seat, you're basically left with the bottom part of the seat that consists of the metal frame, the extendable knee bolster, seat foam, upholstery, and the lumbar wiring/tubing.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: thunderjet302 on August 29, 2017, 03:24:10 PM
Are you recovering the seats to match the rear seat upholstery?
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 29, 2017, 10:26:12 PM
Quote
Are you recovering the seats to match the rear seat upholstery?

Yes and no.  More on that to come ... gotta get through all the boring tear down and rebuild portion ... ha!  Figured the info might help if anyone else decides to go down this path.  I actually bought a semi custom kit for recovering the front seats and upgrading the foam.  I'll share all the info in my coming posts.  I then bought some spare material from the same company to have the back seat re-done.  I'll hold on to the stock back seat and just store it.  I'm having the matching blue Turbo Coupe rear seat re-upholstered and will put that in the car.  The front seats were originally cloth seats with the attached consolette.  I installed a pair of XR-7 seats years ago when I first added the full console, but they were pretty rough and didn't match either.  The Mustang ones were a closer match and in better shape so I swapped those in.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: thunderjet302 on August 30, 2017, 12:19:29 AM
I figured that's what you were doing ;)

When I installed a full console in my car I had the front seats re-upholstered at the same time. I just removed the consolette frame from the driver seat. It was tack welded on and came off pretty easily.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: BCA on August 30, 2017, 02:27:49 PM
So is the only difference (other than upholstery and maybe padding) between the Mustang articulated seat the T-Bird/Cougar articulated seat the height of the seat back?

Back in the day, when riding in a friends Mustang GT, I never felt that the seat was as comfortable as my XR-7 seats. Probably was used to the where the XR-7 seat hit me in the back vs. the Mustang seat but it also seemed more stiff and less cushy as well. So I assumed the Mustang seat's padding was thinner too.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 30, 2017, 08:26:53 PM
Quote from: BCA;462449
So is the only difference (other than upholstery and maybe padding) between the Mustang articulated seat the T-Bird/Cougar articulated seat the height of the seat back?

Back in the day, when riding in a friends Mustang GT, I never felt that the seat was as comfortable as my XR-7 seats. Probably was used to the where the XR-7 seat hit me in the back vs. the Mustang seat but it also seemed more stiff and less cushy as well. So I assumed the Mustang seat's padding was thinner too.


Categorizing the Mustang seats is a bit of a strange beast in and of itself.  When talking about the GT sport seats, from my research (and I could be wrong as I'm sure there are differences between GT's, LX's and even convertibles) ... but basically:

-87-89 used the 26" "high" seat back fully articulated seat with adjustable knee bolster and the large headrest
-90-91 used the same seat, except with a 24" "low" seat back and small headrests 
-92-93 went back to the 26" "high" seat back, but kept the smaller headrest, and the adjustable knee bolster went away and was just integrated into the lower part of the seat foam as a single piece. 

As far as I can tell, the XR-7 and Turbo Coupe seats have the 24" "low" seat back with the large headrest and the adjustable knee bolster.

Now, as far as the foam itself is concerned, I would say the foam between the Mustang and the Cougar/Tbird is the same overall size/dimension, but I would also venture to say that you are correct in that they do not have the same density or cushy-ness.  Below are shots of the actual seat bottom foam.  The Mustang GT one is marked with an "M" from the factory and the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe with a "T".  If they were truly the same, I doubt they would be marked in such a way.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: mcb82gt on August 30, 2017, 08:52:48 PM
So looking forward to this thread.  I need new seats, mine are the stock LS seats and I would love to get some bird articulated seats.  I can never find any around here.  :(
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 30, 2017, 09:18:06 PM
Quote from: mcb82gt;462455
So looking forward to this thread.  I need new seats, mine are the stock LS seats and I would love to get some bird articulated seats.  I can never find any around here.  :(

Thanks, hope it helps.  I think the end result is a nice mix of retaining a lot of the factory parts with their form, fit, and function.  I would have loved for the Corbeaus to work out ... and they did to a degree, but I just knew I wasn't going to happy with the position.

Finding good seats in the salvage yard can pretty tough, but with this project, I'm only really reusing the internals of the seats themselves.  I'm not sure if the base and LS seats use a different seat back frame from the sport seats or not.  All of the bolstering could just be in the actual foam ... dunno.  I would guess that the bottom frame is different though.  The bases might be the same dimensions, but the frame is tapped in certain areas for extra hardware and brackets, etc.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 30, 2017, 10:31:33 PM
Next step is a pretty easy one - removal of the knee bolster.  Just tap out the roll pins on either side and the bolster pulls right out.

Should have thought of this in my earlier post too, but my pictures made me think of it ... part numbers for the seat bottom foam:
87 Mustang GT - E7ZB-61632A22-BA
88 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - E3SB-63632A22-BB

Hard to tell if these are 100% accurate trying to read them in the foam ... 3,6, and 8 all start to look alike if you stare at them long enough ... lol ..
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 30, 2017, 10:47:20 PM
Next up is the removal of the lumbar switch and associated wiring/tubing.

The LUMBAR -/+ face plate just lifts off by prying in the bottom slots with a small flat head screw driver.  That will then reveal two screws that need to be removed.  Disconnect the switch from the harness in the seat base, and the switch assembly with its associated tubing will just pull right out.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: BCA on August 31, 2017, 12:56:33 PM
Quote from: 85CougarCobra;462454
Categorizing the Mustang seats is a bit of a strange beast in and of itself.  When talking about the GT sport seats, from my research (and I could be wrong as I'm sure there are differences between GT's, LX's and even convertibles) ... but basically:

-87-89 used the 26" "high" seat back fully articulated seat with adjustable knee bolster and the large headrest
-90-91 used the same seat, except with a 24" "low" seat back and small headrests 
-92-93 went back to the 26" "high" seat back, but kept the smaller headrest, and the adjustable knee bolster went away and was just integrated into the lower part of the seat foam as a single piece. 

As far as I can tell, the XR-7 and Turbo Coupe seats have the 24" "low" seat back with the large headrest and the adjustable knee bolster.

Now, as far as the foam itself is concerned, I would say the foam between the Mustang and the Cougar/Tbird is the same overall size/dimension, but I would also venture to say that you are correct in that they do not have the same density or cushy-ness.  Below are shots of the actual seat bottom foam.  The Mustang GT one is marked with an "M" from the factory and the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe with a "T".  If they were truly the same, I doubt they would be marked in such a way.


It's interesting that the Mustang (most years anyway) used a taller seat back when they probably could have simplified production and put the 24" on both production lines.

Density of the foam would be a good description of what I experienced between the two. I never found the Mustang seats very comfortable. I felt like I sat on top of the Mustang seat and sat in the XR-7 seat. At the time I probably weighed 150lbs. dripping wet though. ;)

Thanks for the thread. It's going to be (already is) very informative.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: Aerocoupe on August 31, 2017, 01:59:22 PM
I have experienced the same damn dilemma with the Corbeau's in my Bird.  They just sit too high for me but other than that they are awesome.  I have the same exact seats in my Coupe and they don't sit as high so that is kind of a mystery to me and is why I bought them in the first place.  I used to have the 86 GT seats in my Bird using the Bird tracks so I just assumed the Corbeau's would work.  Should have yanked the seats out of the Coupe and tried them in the Bird...damnit.  So long story short I may be headed down this road as well.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 31, 2017, 10:25:28 PM
Quote from: Aerocoupe;462465
I have experienced the same damn dilemma with the Corbeau's in my Bird.  They just sit too high for me but other than that they are awesome.  I have the same exact seats in my Coupe and they don't sit as high so that is kind of a mystery to me and is why I bought them in the first place.  I used to have the 86 GT seats in my Bird using the Bird tracks so I just assumed the Corbeau's would work.  Should have yanked the seats out of the Coupe and tried them in the Bird...damnit.  So long story short I may be headed down this road as well.

Yeah, I don't get it with the Corbeaus I had ... they just aren't "right" and rather than let it eat at me, I just decided to move in another direction.

Here's a shot of the fully removed lumber switch and associated tubing.  After that was out, it was time to move on to the side bolster adjustment knob.  Pretty easy ... one small allen head to loosen up and then the knob pulls right off.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 31, 2017, 10:57:05 PM
At this point is where the real fun begins.

From the bottom of the seat base, you will first have to deal with three hog rings.  One holds the center of the front plastic clip and the two on either side just hold the fabric welt to keep the upholstery tight.  All you need to do is take a pair of dikes and cut the hog rings.  After that, you can loosen up and undo all of the plastic retaining clips for the upholstery.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 31, 2017, 11:05:39 PM
Once the upholstery is loose all the way around, starting at the front of the seat base, you just begin to roll the upholstery off.  You  can compress the foam in the bolsters a little and it will come right off.  With the upholstery off of the fronts of the side bolsters, you will then reveal the main attachment point of the fabric to the metal of the seat base.  There are two main metal clips on either side and three more hog rings.  You will have to loosen the metal clips as they hold a left and right metal rod that each extend front to back through the seat base.  These clips will need to be reused later, so don't go to crazy and destroy them ... although I'm sure something else could be used in their place if necessary.  The three hog rings will all need to be cut as well.  One picture shows all five attachments, the other is just a closer view of the front left hand side.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on August 31, 2017, 11:28:34 PM
Sorry for the first picture, realized I forgot to take one of this step so had to try to recreate it a little.

Once the main metal clips are removed from either side, you can simply pull out the metal rods.  They are "L" shaped and run from the front of the seat to the back.  They pass through a fabric seam on the underside of the upholstery.  They may stick a little due to some surface rust, put should come out pretty easily.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: ISTLCRUZ on September 01, 2017, 07:53:27 AM
Great write up on this. Following along as I have these in my bird also.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 01, 2017, 10:07:04 AM
Quote from: ISTLCRUZ;462485
Great write up on this. Following along as I have these in my bird also.

Thanks!

After you get the left and right rods removed and the front three hog rings cut, you will be able to continue rolling the upholstery off.  The side rods would have prevented you from rolling the upholstery off if you would have tried to start at the back versus the front.  There is another upholstery "pull" in the center/back part of the seat bottom that attaches the fabric to the foam.  This attaches with ... you guessed it ... three more hog rings.  Cut these and the seat bottom upholstery will then be free for you to remove.  Below are some shots of all of the rods that run through the seat bottom upholstery and attach it to the frame and foam.  You've already pulled out the larger "L" rods on the sides, but you'll also need to pull out the smaller two that run left to right as they will need to be reused in later steps.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 01, 2017, 11:01:46 AM
With the upholstery removed from the bottom part of the seat, it is time to remove the foam.  It looks like it would just lift right off, but there are some metal rods that run through it and they are attached to the pivoting brackets that control the in and out adjustment of the side bolsters.  Since the foam on these bolsters is typically worn or split, you might have easy access to them.  In my case, the foam was split on one side of the foam, so I snapped some pictures so you can get a good idea of where the rod is attached to the bracket.  There should be two holes in the top of the pivoting bracket and there is a hog ring connecting the rod in the foam at each of these spots.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 01, 2017, 11:12:40 AM
If the foam isn't split or worn as shown in my previous pictures ... and you don't want to or feel like destroying it ... then you have to access the hog rings from the side as they were installed by the factory.  Each side bolster will have a factory cut that was sliced into the foam.  Just peel the foam back in this area and you should be able to access the two hog rings for each side.  Cut all four hog rings (two per side), and you will be able to pull the foam from the metal base.  I missed getting pictures of this step as I was doing it, so I tried to recreate some of these photos as well.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 02, 2017, 07:41:04 PM
At this point, I could have just started rebuilding the bottom part of the seat ... but I decided to take it a step further.  I completely stripped the seat base assembly and took the bare frame to get powder coated.  Might be a little excessive, but the bases both had some light surface rust here and there and I figured I would get them cleaned up if I was going to go to all this trouble.  Some of these next several posts will use photos that were taken during reassembly of the bases ... so ... even though I am going to discuss further disassembly, you'll see photos that show a pretty clean seat base.

Here's the base with the upholstery and foam removed.  At this point, it was time to remove the seat foam spring assembly.  This involves removing the four springs at the back of the seat base.  I just used a pair of pliers to pull on the springs and guide them out of their mounting holes.  With these spring removed, you can move to the front of the base and gently pry up the four metal tabs that secure the base spring.  Once these tabs are opened up a little, you can slide the base spring out and remove it.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 02, 2017, 07:46:32 PM
Here is the assembly fully removed.

If you have any missing or broken springs ... or you are just looking to replace these items, you're in luck ... you should be able to use these Mustang units: https://lmr.com/item/LRS-SEATSPRING/1979-1993-mustang-lower-seat-foam (https://lmr.com/item/LRS-SEATSPRING/1979-1993-mustang-lower-seat-foam)

I would assume these can be used for base, LS/LX, and sport seats.

At this time, I also removed the plastic guard that was installed on the outboard side of the seat frame.  This just slides on and off.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 02, 2017, 07:58:54 PM
Next was removal of the lumbar pump.  Pretty easy, remove the two screws on the outside of the metal frame and the pump will come right out.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 02, 2017, 08:10:45 PM
From there, I removed the left and right slider guides for the knee bolster.  There are 2 screws that hold a small metal clip in place.  Remove those and then you can pop out this clip along with the plastic guide that it is holding in place.  Once done, you'll have 4 screws, two clips, and two guides.  You can access and remove all of these items from the openings in the front of the metal frame.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 02, 2017, 08:36:37 PM
The worst part of disassembling the base is the removal of the side bolster adjustment assembly ... it's not hard by any means though.  First, you need to remove the external snap ring at the back of the lower hinge pin.  Once removed, you can slide the hinge pin out, thus freeing the bolster bracket from the block that controls its inward and outward motion.  With this piece now freed, all you have to do is move to the outside of the base and remove the two bolts holding the hinge part of the bracket to the metal base.  Repeat this for both sides.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 02, 2017, 08:49:57 PM
I also removed the bracket that the lumber switch assembly mounts to.  You might be able to remove this before getting into the removal of the bolster assembly.  In my particular case, on one seat base, I was able to just remove the bracket ... on the other, the bolster bracket overlapped a small piece of this bracket (where the left most screw is located) and needed to be loosened up in order to be able to remove it.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 02, 2017, 09:27:45 PM
Remove the cable connecting the left and right adjustment screws by driving out the roll pins on each end and pulling the cable out.  Once this is done, you can simply unthread the adjustment screws to remove them, the blocks they thread onto, and the plastic disc washers.  There is nothing too special about these pieces other than the fact that they are threaded opposite from one another.  Turning in one direction draws the blocks closer together and turning in the other direction draws them apart.  The blocks are marked with an "L" and "R" for left and right.  The longer adjustment screw goes to the outer side of the seat because your adjustment knob mounts over it.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 02, 2017, 09:33:36 PM
Here's a shot of all of the side bolster adjustment pieces removed from the frame and a shot of the bare frame after powder coating.

When reinstalling the threaded blocks, make sure that they are installed like a "U".  The pin that was removed from the bolster bracket slides through the top part of these blocks.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 03, 2017, 08:07:24 AM
To put everything back together, you can pretty much just go in reverse order.  I basically cleaned, powder coated the metal frame, and then lubricated the moving parts/pivots.  You'll definitely want to reinstall the spring assembly last so that you can easily access everything else.  Here is a shot of the fully reassembled/refurbished seat base.  We're now ready to start building our new seat base.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 03, 2017, 08:28:55 AM
Alright ... so anyone checking this thread out has probably been waiting for this piece of the puzzle ... new seat foam and upholstery.

While doing some research and trying to figure out my options, I found a company named TMI Products: http://www.tmiproducts.com/ (http://www.tmiproducts.com/)

They make all kinds of replacement seat foam for the Mustang.  You can get the base foam, or the GT foam (with or without the adjustable knee bolster, and you can get them in the different seat back heights (24" or 26") based on the Mustang model year that you order them for.  The prices on their site are kind of all over the board and several of the Mustang parts houses carry them, so shop around if you go down this path.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 03, 2017, 08:40:04 AM
I wanted to do something a little different with the seats and TMI provides an option for that as well.  They have some foam and upholstery kits that will allow you to use your stock frames yet transform your seats.

Here's a couple of options for setups they offer using the stock frames with a foam/upholstery kit they sell.  Most of these involve removing the headrest altogether.  They also let you choose the fabrics (cloth, suede, vinyl, leather) and offer several colors of material and stitching as well.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: ISTLCRUZ on September 03, 2017, 08:45:56 AM
I have researched this for sometime now. On 1 of the Mustang sites a guy ordered the SVO foam and installed it on regular GT seats. Looked great. I have considered this option as i always liked the SVO seats.... Can't wait for your feedback on TMI foam  so far as comfort level.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 03, 2017, 08:54:09 AM
I have researched this for sometime now. On 1 of the Mustang sites a guy ordered the SVO foam and installed it on regular GT seats. Looked great. I have considered this option as i always liked the SVO seats.... Can't wait for your feedback on TMI foam  so far as comfort level.

Categorizing the Mustang seats is a bit of a strange beast in and of itself. When talking about the GT sport seats, from my research (and I could be wrong as I'm sure there are differences between GT's, LX's and even convertibles) ... but basically:

-87-89 used the 26" "high" seat back fully articulated seat with adjustable knee bolster and the large headrest
-90-91 used the same seat, except with a 24" "low" seat back and small headrests
-92-93 went back to the 26" "high" seat back, but kept the smaller headrest, and the adjustable knee bolster went away and was just integrated into the lower part of the seat foam as a single piece.

As far as I can tell, the XR-7 and Turbo Coupe seats have the 24" "low" seat back with the large headrest and the adjustable knee bolster.

Now, as far as the foam itself is concerned, I would say the foam between the Mustang and the Cougar/T-bird is the same overall size/dimension, but I would also venture to say that you are correct in that they do not have the same density or cushy-ness. Below are shots of the actual seat bottom foam. The Mustang GT one is marked with an "M" from the factory and the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe with a "T". If they were truly the same, I doubt they would be marked in such a way.


For my particular case, I wanted to keep all the functionality of the stock seat ... I just wanted something that would be a little more aggressive in the bolster department.  TMI has an interesting solution for that as well.  They sell a kit that will basically upgrade the stock GT Fox Mustang seat to a 2003-2004 Mustang Cobra style seat.  Now, I know it looks very similar to the standard sport seat foam (and it is), but the bolstering is much more pronounced.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 03, 2017, 09:02:56 AM
Quote from: ISTLCRUZ;462526
I have reasearched this for sometime now. On 1 of the Mustang sites a guy ordered the SVO foam and installed it on regular GT seats. Looked great. I have considered this option as i always liked the SVO seats.... Can't wait for your feedback on TMI foam  so far as comfort level.

I believe the SVO and 03-04 Cobra foam kits are very similar from TMI (if not identical).  Since I was converting 87-88 Turbo Coupe seats with a 24" seat back height, I ordered TMI part number 43-73790.  Here is a shot of the label from my shipment.  The foam kits can be ordered per seat or as a set.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 03, 2017, 09:15:29 AM
Here are shots of the stock foam against the TMI Cobra foam ... this gives you a better appreciation for the difference in the bolstering.

The seat backs:
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 03, 2017, 09:17:07 AM
The seat bottoms:

Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 03, 2017, 09:27:06 AM
Once I decided to go down the path of upgrading to the 03-04 Cobra foam, it was time to figure out the upholsery side of things.  My primary goal in starting all of this was to match the rest of my interior.  TMI will send out swatches and offers matching material for the Mustang: http://www.tmiproducts.com/swatches.html/#mustang (http://www.tmiproducts.com/swatches.html/#mustang)

This is where some of you may or may not get lucky.  If you share an interior color with the Mustang, you're probably in luck.  Even if you don't, they have other material options that you can request samples of and you might just find something that will work.  Luckily for me, Charcoal was a factory color used on the 84-86 SVO Mustang.  I requested samples of the Charcoal vinyl, Charcoal leather, and Black uni-suede.

The photo doesn't do it justice, but the Charcoal vinyl (and leather for that matter) was a dead on match to my door panels.  I ended up deciding to have my front seat covers made with the Charcoal vinyl and Black uni-suede inserts.  I then bought additional matching material (by the yard) to have a local upholstery shop recover the spare Turbo Coupe back seat that I have to match.  TMI makes a rear seat kit for the Mustang, but our luck of sharing parts with our cousin runs out there unfortunately.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 04, 2017, 10:50:22 PM
Here's my "custom" upholstery set.  It took about six weeks from the time I placed the order until the time the set arrived.  They have some of these sets as off the shelf items if you are ordering stock Mustang colors that were offered in the correct model years.  Since I was looking to get the 24" "low" seat back, I ordered the 90-91 Mustang upholstery set and then "customized" it by ordering it in the Charcoal color.  Since these years also had the smaller headrest, I had to then order the larger headrests as well.  If you really wanted, you could also order the halo headrests from different Mustang parts places and use those.  The kit does both front seats and is comprised of four pieces for each seat - headrest cover, seat back cover, seat base cover, and the knee bolster cover.  They also include a plastic bracket with hardware that the knee bolster ends up mounting to.  It ends up replacing the factory cardboard style backing that the knee bolster foam and upholstery is mounted to.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 04, 2017, 11:17:57 PM
Starting with the knee bolsters, you are basically going to build new ones.  The only thing that will be reused from the old assembly is the metal bracket that the bolster mounts to and slides in and out of the seat base.

The new foam should first be glued to the plastic backing bracket provided in the kit.  There is a groove in the foam where the plastic should sit.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 04, 2017, 11:25:58 PM
Give the glue a minute to set up, and then place the assembly in a thin plastic bag.  The plastic is supposed to help the foam glide around within the upholstery ... you'll use this same technique when working with the seat back.  After sliding the foam into the upholstery, you can cut away the excess plastic.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 04, 2017, 11:43:36 PM
With the knee foam placed inside the upholstery, begin folding the fabric over the plastic backing that was glued on and start stapling it to the plastic.  There are little cut outs in the fabric that should line up with the mounting locations for where the foam/upholstery assembly will attach to the sliding metal bracket.  Once you have staples around the entire perimeter, you can then mount it to the metal bracket with the four bolts provided in the kit.  There is a plastic cover that slides over the back of the metal bracket and two of the mounting bolts that attach it actually pass through the cover and then the metal bracket and into the plastic of the bolster assembly.  At this point, your knee bolsters are complete outside of installing them into the base which will come at a later time.  I had these metal brackets powder coated as well.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: Aerocoupe on September 05, 2017, 09:03:17 AM
In Post #39 it appears that the bottom of the lower new seat foam has a higher angle to it.  I will be curious to hear if it raises the seated position, hopefully not and it just provides a better leg angle.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: BCA on September 05, 2017, 11:17:23 AM
Quote from: 85CougarCobra;462527
For my particular case, I wanted to keep all the functionality of the stock seat ... I just wanted something that would be a little more aggressive in the bolster department.  TMI has an interesting solution for that as well.  They sell a kit that will basically upgrade the stock GT Fox Mustang seat to a 2003-2004 Mustang Cobra style seat.  Now, I know it looks very similar to the standard sport seat foam (and it is), but the bolstering is much more pronounced.


Always been a fan of the SVO seats too and this is exactly what I would like to do with my seats as well.

My issue is that I want to retain the factory XR-7/Turbo Coupe style fabrics. In your research have you seen anyone that offers the OE waffle pattern material?
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 05, 2017, 08:16:52 PM
Quote from: Aerocoupe;462560
In Post #39 it appears that the bottom of the lower new seat foam has a higher angle to it.  I will be curious to hear if it raises the seated position, hopefully not and it just provides a better leg angle.

It is a little thicker and I have a feeling it will be more firm as well ... which will probably result in feeling like the Corbeaus, but let's hope not!

I measured the Mustang and Turbo Coupe stock foams ... they are right around 3.5" thick ... the new foam is right around 4", maybe just a hair under.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 05, 2017, 08:28:37 PM
Quote from: BCA;462562
Always been a fan of the SVO seats too and this is exactly what I would like to do with my seats as well.

My issue is that I want to retain the factory XR-7/Turbo Coupe style fabrics. In your research have you seen anyone that offers the OE waffle pattern material?


Yes ... I have ... but it might depend on your particular set up.  The old XR-7 sport seats that I had were a plain charcoal cloth and then the inserts on them were a lighter gray cloth (not charcoal) with the waffle pattern.

I reached out to SMS Auto Fabrics: https://www.smsautofabrics.com/

I asked them to provide me samples of all of the OE charcoal material that they had for an '85 Cougar and this is what they sent me.  I ended up purchasing some of the charcoal waffle pattern material to recover the side fabric inserts in the back seat.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 05, 2017, 08:36:40 PM
Here is a better shot of the material against the pieces that I was having recovered.  The material isn't cheap and I think the minimum you can purchase is 2/3 of a yard (that's all I bought).  On the plus side, when you buy a yard, it is 1 yard by 54 to 56 inches long ... so it's quite a bit of material in all reality.  You could probably do the inserts on the front seats with less than 2 yards.  Hope that helps you out.  It was a dead on match to the material on the front door panels that are shown in an earlier post (#40) where I was comparing the vinyl sample.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: Aerocoupe on September 05, 2017, 10:36:25 PM
When you get your seats together can you set it on the floor and take a couple measurements?

1) from the top of the front part of the bottom cushion to the floor
2) from the top of the back part of the bottom cushion (where it meets the seat back) to the floor

If you need me to I will get a picture and put some arrows on it to illustrate. Next time I can pull one of the Corbeaus out of my Bird I'll do the same to see what the difference is. I'm betting its at least 2"-4".
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on September 06, 2017, 07:47:43 AM
Quote from: Aerocoupe;462579
When you get your seats together can you set it on the floor and take a couple measurements?

1) from the top of the front part of the bottom cushion to the floor
2) from the top of the back part of the bottom cushion (where it meets the seat back) to the floor

If you need me to I will get a picture and put some arrows on it to illustrate. Next time I can pull one of the Corbeaus out of my Bird I'll do the same to see what the difference is. I'm betting its at least 2"-4".

I almost have one of the bottom assemblies done.  I take it you just want me to set it on the floor (with no seat tracks installed) and take those measurements?  Let me know and I can probably have those sometime next week.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: Aerocoupe on September 06, 2017, 08:27:05 AM
With seat tracks if possible and thanks!
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: BCA on September 06, 2017, 09:12:55 AM
Quote from: 85CougarCobra;462576
Yes ... I have ... but it might depend on your particular set up.  The old XR-7 sport seats that I had were a plain charcoal cloth and then the inserts on them were a lighter gray cloth (not charcoal) with the waffle pattern.

I reached out to SMS Auto Fabrics: https://www.smsautofabrics.com/

I asked them to provide me samples of all of the OE charcoal material that they had for an '85 Cougar and this is what they sent me.  I ended up purchasing some of the charcoal waffle pattern material to recover the side fabric inserts in the back seat.


Yes, that is what I was looking for. I have the lighter Oxford Grey. I'll contact them. 
Thanks! :D
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: thunderjet302 on September 06, 2017, 04:29:48 PM
Can't wait to see the finished product. It's coming along nicely.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: mcb82gt on September 06, 2017, 07:07:47 PM
Very impressive, the work you guys have done and the info provided.  I have some 84 Mustang sport seats..... Interesting, if I could make them into nice sport seats and match my stock 88 grey rear seat fabric......
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 12, 2017, 10:31:07 PM
Well ... after a little hiatus, back at it.  Had some travels and other things tying me up the past few weeks.  Time to build the seat bottoms.  I did a pre-build of sorts and wasn't happy with how tight the upholstery seemed to being pulled in the front of the base part of the seat ... so I took the bases to a local machine shop and had attachment rods added on the underside.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the Mustang seats to compare to, but I believe their attachment rods sit a little more forward of where ours do.  Not a huge deal, just welded a second one in as seen towards the top of the pic.

After that was done, it was time to install the foam.  Pretty simple, it just basically sits on top of the base assembly.  The foam is universal and is marked on both sides where a piece needs to be cut out to clear the lumbar control area on one side or the other.  Cut that out on the appropriate side and drop it in place.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 12, 2017, 10:37:41 PM
More shots of the lumbar area foam cut out.  Once you get the foam in place, you also need to add a hole for the side bolster in/out adjustment shaft.  Once that is complete, your basically done as far as the foam is concerned.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: Tbird232ci on October 13, 2017, 01:09:00 AM
More!
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 13, 2017, 08:07:58 AM
With the foam in place, it's on to the upholstery install.  You start out by turning the seat base upholstery inside out.  There is a fabric loop running through the middle section that will need cut on the left and right side so that you can slide the upholstery pull rod through it.  Because of the way this is stitched in from the factory, you basically have to create you own openings to slide the rod through.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 13, 2017, 08:16:01 AM
Once the center rod is in place, it's time to hog ring (x3) this area to the center channel running through the foam.  One hog ring goes in the center and then one more on each side.  The foam has metal rods built into and it is pretty easy to locate where they want you to go with the hog ring connections.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: james cassity on October 13, 2017, 08:23:54 AM
Quote from: 85CougarCobra;462576
Yes ... I have ... but it might depend on your particular set up.  The old XR-7 sport seats that I had were a plain charcoal cloth and then the inserts on them were a lighter gray cloth (not charcoal) with the waffle pattern.

I reached out to SMS Auto Fabrics: https://www.smsautofabrics.com/

I asked them to provide me samples of all of the OE charcoal material that they had for an '85 Cougar and this is what they sent me.  I ended up purchasing some of the charcoal waffle pattern material to recover the side fabric inserts in the back seat.


item B you show in the pic,,, if that was in tan, that would make a great 20th anny substitute!

nice work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 13, 2017, 08:39:19 AM
Once the center pull rod is in place, you'll move to the front of the seat to install the front pull rod.  Basically the exact same principle ... you'll have to cut an opening in either end of the looped fabric that is stitched into this area and then slide the rod that was removed from the factory upholstery into place.  You'll hog ring this rod in three places as well and it will actually connect to a metal rod that runs left to right on the top of the seat base frame.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: james cassity on October 13, 2017, 08:42:25 AM
I also sent off a request for 20th "like" fabric (s)
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 13, 2017, 07:26:29 PM
Quote from: jcassity;463232
item B you show in the pic,,, if that was in tan, that would make a great 20th anny substitute!

nice work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I feel for you.  Finding a single year offering fabric (let alone 20+ years old) is probably a challenge.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 13, 2017, 07:32:47 PM
With the center and front rods attached, it's on to the left and right sides.  The first thing to pay attention to is the metal loops at the back of each side of the foam.  When you install the side rods, they slide into their fabric loop channels at the front on the seat, pass all the way through them, exit at the back of the seat, and then pass under these metal loops.  I took these pictures before starting to install the upholstery.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 13, 2017, 07:45:36 PM
Slide the side rods from front to back through the fabric loop channels on either side.  Once they start to exit the back of the fabric channel, you want to angle them through the metal loops in the back of the seat foam.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 14, 2017, 08:43:27 AM
With the side rods run through their fabric loop channels and under the metal loops in the back of the foam, it's time to come back to the front of the seat and attach the "L" shaped part of the rod to the seat base frame.  The slide rods will be angled up at the front due to the downward angle you need to to get them into the metal loop in the back.  Just use some force to push them down and reuse the original metal clamps (or new hog rings) to reattach both sides.  This process will pull the fabric tight into the side channels along the bolsters that run from front to back.  At this point, the upholstery is essentially attached.  The next step is to start rolling the upholstery over the front part of the bolsters.  You just have to depress the foam and gently work everything into place so that it is nice and snug.  Now things are starting to take shape!
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 14, 2017, 04:46:06 PM
After you get the upholstery rolled over the bolsters and around all the sides, flip the seat bottom over and install the plastic clips starting at the back.  Once the back clip is installed, move to each of the sides.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 14, 2017, 05:45:36 PM
After the foam and upholstery is installed it's time to reinstall the tubing and electrical connections for the lumbar.  The tubing will need to come up and pass through the foam and upholstery.  I marked a spot between the the two rear inboard springs.  From there I ran a screwdriver through the foam and poked it through the upholstery.  I rolled the rear of the upholstery back up during this process for a picture of the first seat to try to demonstrate the process, but didn't on the second seat.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 14, 2017, 06:06:02 PM
After you get the hole punctured for the tubing, make sure you get everything reattached and snugged back up.  Now, it's time to move to the side bracket where the lumbar switch goes.  You'll be able to feel (and see) where the switch needs to go.  Take a razor blade and cut an opening in the middle of the void in the center of the bracket.  After this is cut, take a pair of scissors and open up the hole to match the opening in the bracket underneath the upholstery.  With this opened up enough, you can run the switch and tubing down through the opening and route it along the inside of the seat frame.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 14, 2017, 07:48:43 PM
With the switch now in place, you can slide the plastic cover plate back over it (it will snap into the switch), then it can be screwed back into the seat frame and you can reinstall the cover plate.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 14, 2017, 08:04:13 PM
On to the side bolster adjustment knob.  You'll be able to feel where the outboard shaft is located.  Take a razor blade and cut a small "X" over the top of it.  Once your "X" is big enough, you'll be able to push the upholstery down over it  ... just be careful not to cut any bigger than you have to.  You can then take a small flat blade screwdriver and tuck the upholstery inside of itself.  Slide the adjustment knob back over the shaft and tighten the hex set screw.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 15, 2017, 12:24:16 PM
With the seat base almost buttoned up, it's time to reinstall the adjustable knee bolster.  Simply slide the bolster assembly into the pre-slit spots on the upholstery and then reinstall the roll pins
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 15, 2017, 12:28:13 PM
View of the assembled seat base, just have to reinstall the wiring harness and run the tubing up through the upholstery.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 15, 2017, 12:31:55 PM
Wiring harness back in place and lumbar tubing exiting through the rear of the seat.  DONE with the seat base ... on to the seat back.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 15, 2017, 07:19:08 PM
Alright, seat back time ... a lot of the same princilpes will apply.  Start at the bottom of the seat back and open up the zipper.  Roll the bottom of the upholstery up and you will reveal left and right "L" rods that are held in place by hog rings.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 15, 2017, 07:25:54 PM
Cut the hog rings on both the left and right "L" rods to free them.  Once freed, slide the "L" rods straight out and set them aside.  With the rods removed, this will allow you to be able to roll the upholstery up off of the foam and frame ... but ... before you can do that, you'll need to flip the seat over and remove the seat back locking knob and surround.  The plastic knob will just pull off with a little force and removing the single screw will allow you to free the surround.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: james cassity on October 15, 2017, 08:57:51 PM
whacha doing with your old seat covers?
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 16, 2017, 08:03:53 AM
Quote from: jcassity;463294
whacha doing with your old seat covers?

Right now, everything for the complete front seats is boxed up.  I'll probably look to sell them as I have no plans to use them.  They are a little faded, but I've definitely seen much worse.  All in all, they are actually in pretty nice shape with no rips or tears.  Seat back covers, seat bottom covers, knee bolsters, head rest covers, seat belt shoulder holders, and rear seat latch knobs and surrounds as a complete set.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 16, 2017, 08:24:50 AM
Start rolling the seat back upholstery up from the bottom.  You'll eventually get a little past the half way point where you will encounter the first pull rod.  This one is not attached by hog rings.  Simply slide it out and set it aside to be reused doing the install of the new upholstery.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 16, 2017, 08:32:11 AM
Continue rolling the upholstery up and you will get to the top attaching rod.  This one is secured with three hog rings.  Cut them, remove the rod, and set it aside to be reused later.  At this point, the seat back upholstery is essentially free.  You'll just have to remove the head rest and shoulder area seat belt holder in order to pull the upholstery off.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: james cassity on October 16, 2017, 09:27:23 AM
while you are at this project,,
verify your back rest pivot hing parts are not worn,, the gangster lean is a pita on our cars.

I really dont have any great pics of the hinge area to document a proper repair.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 16, 2017, 11:26:21 AM
Quote from: jcassity;463317
while you are at this project,,
verify your back rest pivot hing parts are not worn,, the gangster lean is a pita on our cars.

I really dont have any great pics of the hinge area to document a proper repair.

Ha!  Yeah, I hear ya.  The driver's Mustang seat that I pulled out had a little bit of that prior to me installing it in the Cougar.  The blue Turbo Coupe seats that I am converting seemed to be straight and true.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: thunderjet302 on October 16, 2017, 05:17:51 PM
I've seen some bad leans on the driver's seat. Fortunately the original owner of my car was a 5'3" petite woman and I'm only 5'9" and 160lbs, so the seats haven't seen a lot of stress :hick:.

The project is going along nicely. I think it's going to look great when you're done. Are you recovering the rear seats yourself or is the shop making the covers and installing them?
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 16, 2017, 08:25:46 PM
Quote from: thunderjet302;463333
The project is going along nicely. I think it's going to look great when you're done. Are you recovering the rear seats yourself or is the shop making the covers and installing them?

Thanks!  I bought fabric from the same company and had a local upholstery shop recover the Turbo Coupe rear seat.  I'll get some pics of it up soon.  I'm keeping my stock rear seat and just storing it.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 16, 2017, 08:35:05 PM
Flip the seat back over to access the headrest.  It will pull out so far and then will "catch" on a latch.  My picture isn't that great, but you can pry the latch up slightly by inserting a flat head screwdriver.  Pull on the headrest some more and it should come free.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 16, 2017, 08:53:12 PM
I removed the seat belt shoulder bracket earlier, but you'll need to remove this and the black plastic guide that the headrest slides down into on the top part of the seat back.  This will pull right out with a little tug.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 16, 2017, 10:32:08 PM
With everything now removed, the seat back upholstery should be free to pull off.  Once that is removed, undo the small plastic clip on the back of the seat frame.  This wraps around the bottom of the frame and holds the foam in place.  With the clip undone, the foam will lift off of the frame from the top.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 16, 2017, 10:38:23 PM
I cleaned the seat back frames up and lubricated all of the pivot points.  The seat backs are pretty much ready to be reassembled at this point, but before jumping into that, I decided to remove the upholstery from the headrests.  Pretty easy ... you sort of have to "peel" the seam open and the clips on the headrest upholstery will come undone.  From there, you just have to gently work the cover off of the foam.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 17, 2017, 08:28:24 AM
Since it's easy enough to knock out the headrests, I just decided to finish them at this point.  Similar to the knee bolsters, wrapping the foam in a lightweight plastic bag is helpful when trying to install the new cover ... this helps it slide around a little by reducing the friction between the foam and underside of the upholstery.  You have to compress the foam in spots and just gently work it into the cover while making sure you get everything lined up and snug.  Once you have it in place, you can just cut or tear away the excess plastic.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 17, 2017, 10:51:44 AM
After trimming away any excess plastic, you just have to line up the fabric tabs on the outer edges on the inside of the headrest (to cover the foam so that you don't see any of it when the cover is fully installed, there is one on each side).  When those are all lined up, you just have to curl the plastic snaps around and seat the one inside of the other ... and ... presto! ... headrests done!
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: thunderjet302 on October 17, 2017, 05:39:41 PM
Quote from: 85CougarCobra;463344
Thanks!  I bought fabric from the same company and had a local upholstery shop recover the Turbo Coupe rear seat.  I'll get some pics of it up soon.  I'm keeping my stock rear seat and just storing it.

I'd really like to see pictures of that. I think it's going to look awesome when it's done.

BTW this is a great set of instructions for someone who wants to tackle this themselves.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 17, 2017, 10:08:23 PM
Quote from: thunderjet302;463357
BTW this is a great set of instructions for someone who wants to tackle this themselves.

Thanks.  Figured this might help someone out somewhere along the way.  Doubt too many people are overly interested in modifying their seats, but nice to know there are some options out there.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 17, 2017, 10:16:56 PM
Installing the seat back foam on the frame is pretty straight forward as well.  Just lower the foam over the top of the seat back frame.  The foam is universal (left/right) and there are openings in the top for the headrest and seat belt shoulder bracket attaching point.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 17, 2017, 10:20:06 PM
After you get the foam dropped in place from the top, you'll come to the bottom part of the seat back and wrap the foam under and around, installing the plastic clip onto the frame.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 20, 2017, 09:25:09 AM
Once the foam is placed/installed on the seat back frame, the first thing you will want to pay attention to are the metal loops in the upper corners on each side.  Similar to the seat base, the "L" rods will need to installed so that they slide into these loops.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 20, 2017, 09:31:07 AM
The next order of business is to prep the seat back upholstery.  Turn the cover inside out and reinstall the top retaining rod, this is where you will make your first attachments of the upholstery to the foam.  You will also need to move down to the center part of the seat cover and cut either side of the fabric loop channel for the center rod.  This material is sewn in and then stitched through up the sides, essentially closing them up.  You'll need to make a cut on either side to re-open them.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 20, 2017, 08:18:16 PM
With top rod in place, place the cover on top of the seat back frame and just start rolling it down a little.  This will get the rod loosely lined up with where it attaches to the foam.  You'll have to apply some pressure to push the rod down into the channel running left to right across the top of the foam, then use three hog rings (one in the center and one on each side) and attach the rod to the foam.  Once attached, continue rolling the upholstery down to the next rod location.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 22, 2017, 09:56:12 PM
Next up, install the middle upholstery pull rod.  With the sides of the loop cut in a previous step, you just slide the rod in.  This rod will not attach with any hog rings, just tuck it down in the slot in the foam and continue to roll the upholstery down.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 22, 2017, 10:30:19 PM
Once you get the upholstery rolled all the way down, you'll need to work and position the side bolster foam into the "correct" spots.  You'll just kind of keep tugging the upholstery while simultaneously working the foam around and properly filling and smoothing out the cover.  Once you get that done, it's time to reinstall the side "L" rods.  These will slide up through the fabric loops on each side.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 23, 2017, 08:21:55 AM
While sliding the "L" rod up through each fabric loop, you'll need to guide it a little from the outside.  You'll be able to feel it passing through the inside fabric loop, but you need to make sure that you also keep it located in the channel that is cut into the foam.  When you get to the center rod, you'll want the "L" rod to pass over the top of this.  The pressure applied by the "L" rod once it is fully installed is basically what holds the center rod in place (thus why you do not have to hog ring it anywhere).  Once you pass over the center rod, you'll want to make sure you are gently pushing the "L" rod along and will want to angle it down so that the end rests inside of the metal loop at the top of the channel.  I wish I had some better pictures of this step, but everything happens inside/under the upholstery and it's really by feel.  You'll know that you have the top of the "L" rod under the loop because you will have to apply some pressure to it in order to draw it against the foam at the bottom part of the seat foam where you will reattach it using hog rings.  I put four on each side, two on each section of the "L".
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 23, 2017, 09:38:24 AM
Having reached this point, the upholstery is basically reinstalled in terms of all of the attaching rods and hog rings.  From here, you'll just want to work the fabric around a little, pull it down nice and snug, and then close up the bottom.  This upholstery kit has plastic clips at the bottom whereas the factory upholstery was zippered.  Once you have this clip closed up, the upholstery piece is done.  All that is left is to reinstall the headrest, seat back latch and surround, and then attach the seat back to the seat base.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 23, 2017, 09:50:15 AM
Installing the headrest caused a bit of a pause ... it's not a particularly "good" feeling slicing into your nice new upholstery ... ha!  I wish these came precut, but they do not.  You'll be able to feel around and get a sense for where the opening in the foam is located .  It's a little further towards the back of the seat versus being centered front to back.  Make a small cut with a razor blade, make sure you're properly located, and then continue to remove material until you have the hole opened up enough to accept the black plastic guide.  I did a few test fits and trims and then slid the guide all the way in.  It will just pop back into its seated place.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 23, 2017, 06:55:37 PM
With the black plastic guide back in place, simply slide the headrest back in.  It will go in so far and then lock into place so that you can't pull it back out without releasing the catch latch on the seat back frame.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 23, 2017, 07:04:16 PM
Next up is the seat back latch and plastic surround on the back of the seat.  You'll be able to see and feel where the metal is under the upholstery.  Take a razor blade and cut a small opening allowing the metal to poke through the upholstery.  From there, trim away some additional material in alignment with the opening in the seat back that allows for the up/down motion of the lever.  Make sure you don't remove too much material.  The plastic surround will tidy everything up once it's installed.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 23, 2017, 07:09:11 PM
I picked up new plastic knobs and surrounds from one of the Mustang parts warehouses.  You can get new reproduction pieces in black and I didn't want to or plan on reusing the stock dark blue pieces.  The surround just slides in from the top and then is held in place with a single screw in the bottom.  The plastic knob just pushes onto the metal.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 23, 2017, 07:20:54 PM
We're entering the home stretch with the seat base and seat backs now fully assembled as individual units ... time to put 'em together.

On the seat base, you'll need to find the three mounting bolt holes ... there will be two on the outboard hinge side and one on the inboard side.  Again, you'll be able to feel around and locate these spots under the upholstery.  I took a fine phillips head screwdriver and ran it through the upholstery to mark the hole locations.  Once these spots were basically marked, I then took a razor blade and cut the openings into an "X" shape.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 24, 2017, 08:51:23 AM
With the holes cut, I first test fit the screws by cleaning up the threads and then threading them in and out a few times.  I trimmed a little bit of the upholstery material to open up the holes, but this was very minor.  From there I connected the seat base to the seat back by fastening the single Torx head bolt on the inboard side of the seat and the two regular bolts on the outboard hinge side.  I also reconnected the lumbar tubing at this stage and reinstalled the black plastic outboard hinge cover.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 24, 2017, 09:08:27 AM
Almost there ... I promise ...

The seats are basically done at this point, just time to reinstall the power seat tracks.  I had previously cleaned these up for the Corbeau project, so all I did was wipe them down and reinstall them back to the seat bases with the four bolts.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 24, 2017, 06:17:22 PM
... and now the big reveal ... outside of actually being in the car anyway ... here is a fully assembled seat ready to go back in the car.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: ISTLCRUZ on October 24, 2017, 06:27:55 PM
Awesome!! Looking forward to your input on the TMI foam so far as comfort. Can’t wait to see them in the car. Very detailed thread. Thanks .
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: Aerocoupe on October 24, 2017, 06:35:28 PM
Cannot wait to hear if this solves the weird height issue with the Corbeaus.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 24, 2017, 10:09:50 PM
Quote
Awesome!! Looking forward to your input on the TMI foam so far as comfort. Can’t wait to see them in the car. Very detailed thread.


Thanks.  They turned out pretty nice and feel good, but the true test will be getting them in the car ... hopefully over the weekend with any luck.

Quote
Cannot wait to hear if this solves the weird height issue with the Corbeaus


I'll definitely keep you posted, I owe you some measurements as well.

Getting the passenger seat ready to go in.  Here are some shots of the back seat as well.  I'm monkeying around with the center armrest a little, thus why it's missing in the one shot.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: Drewstang on October 25, 2017, 09:59:40 AM
I might have missed it, but where did you find the seat belt buckle sleeves? Are the Mustang equivalent close enough to use on T-bird / Cougar?
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 25, 2017, 10:20:47 AM
Quote from: Drewstang;463468
I might have missed it, but where did you find the seat belt buckle sleeves? Are the Mustang equivalent close enough to use on T-bird / Cougar?

The seat belt buckle sleeves ... believe it or not ... are actually my OEM original ones.  They're not perfect, but they are still in really good shape.  You can use Mustang ones, while not identical, they will get you by.  Eric has a write up on this here: http://www.coolcats.net/restoring/seatbelts.html
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: thunderjet302 on October 25, 2017, 06:37:35 PM
Those came out really nice! Great job. Can't wait to see them in the car.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: EricCoolCats on October 25, 2017, 07:04:20 PM
Quote from: 85CougarCobra;463469
The seat belt buckle sleeves ... believe it or not ... are actually my OEM original ones.  They're not perfect, but they are still in really good shape.  You can use Mustang ones, while not identical, they will get you by.  Eric has a write up on this here: http://www.coolcats.net/restoring/seatbelts.html

You got pretty lucky with the originals, Matt. Glad to see you reused them. Seats came out awesome!

I have Mustang sleeves on my car. They do work well but you have to crank down the Torx bolts really tight to keep them from flopping all over. They also hold paint very, very well. Only thing I don’t like, aside from not being technically correct, is that they’re all made in furrin’ countries. One of these days I hope someone in North America can reproduce the correct sleeves for us.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 25, 2017, 09:23:31 PM
Quote from: EricCoolCats;463473
You got pretty lucky with the originals, Matt. Glad to see you reused them. Seats came out awesome!

I have Mustang sleeves on my car. They do work well but you have to crank down the Torx bolts really tight to keep them from flopping all over. They also hold paint very, very well. Only thing I don’t like, aside from not being technically correct, is that they’re all made in furrin’ countries. One of these days I hope someone in North America can reproduce the correct sleeves for us.

Thanks!  Yeah, my originals are still going strong, but they do have splits in them on parts of the seams ... only a matter of time I suppose.  I'm afraid to look at them wrong!  I bought Mustang ones for the Corbeaus but once I ditched that plan and the 87-88 vintage power seat tracks, I went back to the 83?-86 power seat tracks and my stock seat belts/sleeves.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 27, 2017, 09:15:42 AM
Installed the seat back and passenger seat.  I have a bit of a mess with some other interior work ongoing, but getting closer ...

Unfortunately, it will be little time before I can actually "test" anything.  Car wouldn't start a few weeks ago, diagnosed a fuel pressure/pump issue, dropped the tank to find a slit in the fuel hose inside the tank that is connected to the pump, so need to take care of all of that "fun" stuff as well ... easy enough, but a PITA at the same time.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: Aerocoupe on April 19, 2018, 08:54:29 AM
Any progress on this and did it solve the height issue?
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on April 25, 2018, 10:33:29 PM
No, sorry, no real updates yet.  I got the seats all installed, but I haven't taken the car anywhere yet ... still working on the underside and fuel pump issue ... all good, put just need to button everything back up.  Should be going back together here shortly and then I'll be able to say one way or the other.  Sitting in them though, they seem better than the Corbeaus, but the new foam is definitely firmer, which does make them feel a little higher because I don't quite sink down into them the same way I did with the old foam ... if that makes sense.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: Aerocoupe on April 25, 2018, 11:14:38 PM
Makes perfect sense. Wonder if the new foam will break in or if these newer materials stand up better over time. If the latter is the case then we may be back to shaving the base of the lower seat foam for us taller guys. Look forward to your driving impressions down the road.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on January 31, 2019, 10:52:13 PM
I've been struggling in the spare time and motivation departments ... doing some clean up work under the car while the fuel tank is out.  Still haven't had a chance to test/enjoy the seats, but hoping I can make a push to get things buttoned up before spring.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: Aerocoupe on February 04, 2019, 09:08:12 AM
Understandable.  My level of motivation is always lower in the winter as I just do not like the cold.  My Corbeau seats are still in the Bird and uncomfortable in height.  Worst case is they will end up in my dad's '69 Fastback as we can rework the floor pan if we have to being it is getting the entire floor pan replaced.  We can hack on the existing one to figure it out and then apply the solution to the new one without the mistakes.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on February 04, 2019, 09:41:37 AM
My other "problem" is scope creep ... I just get too far down the rabbit hole.  When I remove something, it just leads to thoughts of replacing and upgrading other things.  I'm sure it's an affliction many of us deal with.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: thunderjet302 on February 04, 2019, 03:26:22 PM
Quote from: 85CougarCobra;468698
My other "problem" is scope creep ... I just get too far down the rabbit hole.  When I remove something, it just leads to thoughts of replacing and upgrading other things.  I'm sure it's an affliction many of us deal with.

The classic "while I'm here...….."

Seats look great though.
Title: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on February 05, 2019, 08:17:10 AM
Quote from: thunderjet302;468714
The classic "while I'm here...….."

Seats look great though.

Thanks!  ... and yes, "while I'm here ....." is in full effect ... ha!
Title: Re: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: mcb82gt on October 24, 2019, 10:34:13 AM
This post is incredible, how do we get the pics back and updated.  Would be a shame to lose all that info and work.
Title: Re: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: Masejoer on October 24, 2019, 11:35:50 AM
This post is incredible, how do we get the pics back and updated.  Would be a shame to lose all that info and work.

I second this - would like to see how this all fits on the stock frames. I'd be willing to throw the images into a folder on my web host, so these aren't stored on the forum itself.

I believe that this is the foam and upholstery set to use? https://www.cjponyparts.com/tmi-upholstery-03-04-cobra-style-sport-high-back-seats-1987-1989/p/U81-V/

For verification, are our Sport/TC seat frames and foam identical to the "1987-89 Mustang Sport Seats"? I've seen that mentioned elsewhere once on this forum.
Title: Re: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 24, 2019, 10:25:20 PM
This post is incredible, how do we get the pics back and updated.  Would be a shame to lose all that info and work.

I second this - would like to see how this all fits on the stock frames. I'd be willing to throw the images into a folder on my web host, so these aren't stored on the forum itself.

I believe that this is the foam and upholstery set to use? https://www.cjponyparts.com/tmi-upholstery-03-04-cobra-style-sport-high-back-seats-1987-1989/p/U81-V/

For verification, are our Sport/TC seat frames and foam identical to the "1987-89 Mustang Sport Seats"? I've seen that mentioned elsewhere once on this forum.

Thanks, I spent some time on posting the steps hoping it might help those who wanted to DIY their seats.  BCA reached out to me and is going to work on getting the pictures back up (thank you Brent).

I responded in your SN95 seat thread, but this is the foam I used: https://www.cjponyparts.com/tmi-seat-foam-sport-svo-style-for-2003-2004-cobra-style-upholstery-1990-1991/p/SF37-V/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkdzQ-aK25QIVjpOzCh35lgUfEAQYASABEgIOp_D_BwE#217=985&year=1990

You want 90-91 Mustang foam if you are rebuilding Tbird/Cougar sport seats because both set ups have the 24" seat backs.  If you're starting with Mustang seats as your base, then you'll want to buy the foam for the corresponding year(s) Mustang.  You can use 26" high seat backs in a Tbird/Cougar if you so desire.  The only "issue" I had when I had stock 26" high Mustang seats in my car was that between the additional height and the tall headrests, the headrests would contact the roof of the car when I moved the seat back to access the backseat.  I had to rotate the headrest down, but I could still fully move the seat back ... hopefully that makes sense.
Title: Re: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: BCA on October 27, 2019, 02:47:43 PM
I have always considered installing SVO's seats in my XR-7, mostly for the extra bolstering but didn't want want to lose the comfort and features of the original seats not to mention the original look and feel of the "waffle iron" upholstery that I personally find very appealing. When Matt originally posted this thread, it was pretty much exactly what I would like to do to my seats someday and I cut and pasted his steps and pictures into Word file and filed it away for my own convenience.

I was able to get nearly all of Matt's photo's back in to the tread, but I did miss a few. That was due to me originally saving only those that pertained to the actual rebuild.

I don't think it can be understated that Matt's work here is extremely helpful whether you plan on doing a similar conversion, restoring, or even just some repair work to your original seats.

Brent
Title: Re: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 28, 2019, 09:26:08 AM
I have always considered installing SVO's seats in my XR-7, mostly for the extra bolstering but didn't want want to lose the comfort and features of the original seats not to mention the original look and feel of the "waffle iron" upholstery that I personally find very appealing. When Matt originally posted this thread, it was pretty much exactly what I would like to do to my seats someday and I cut and pasted his steps and pictures into Word file and filed it away for my own convenience.

I was able to get nearly all of Matt's photo's back in to the tread, but I did miss a few. That was due to me originally saving only those that pertained to the actual rebuild.

I don't think it can be understated that Matt's work here is extremely helpful whether you plan on doing a similar conversion, restoring, or even just some repair work to your original seats.

Brent

Brent - thank you for the work on salvaging the photos, appreciate it!
Title: Re: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: BCA on October 28, 2019, 09:28:50 PM
No problem at all.
Happy to help out. :cheers:
Title: Re: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...
Post by: mcb82gt on October 29, 2019, 08:43:36 AM
Huge thumbs up,  That would make an excellent write up on Coolcats.  Eric????