Fox T-Bird/Cougar Forums

Technical => Body/Appearance/Interior => Topic started by: Masejoer on October 18, 2019, 12:27:47 AM

Title: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 18, 2019, 12:27:47 AM
I have some 2003 Mustang centennial seats that I am using the frames from. The threaded holes about an inch off from bolting on  - I will need to drill all 4 track holes to get them to fit correctly on the tracks.

I assume this is actually normal? I was just surprised that everyone says the sn95 seats just bolt to our tracks, but that isn't the case with the frames I have.

 Too late to mess with that tonight, but it should only take a handful of minutes this weekend once I find some drill bits.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Chuck W on October 18, 2019, 11:03:03 AM
I put 94-98 seats into my '84 XR-7, and don't recall any weirdness.

This was waaay back in a time known as the 1990's, so I could've forgotten a couple things since then.  :toothless:

Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 18, 2019, 12:53:20 PM
It will be nice to have this cobra style seat in there - no more seat lean. SN95 frame, new TMI cobra foam, TMI cobra upholstery.

I will lose passenger lumbar (not much of a thing past '95 on Fords), adjustable bolsters (not buying the original Cobra seats for their going rate, but I never used the manual bolsters on my stock seats), and pullout knee bolsters though...I will especially miss those knee bolsters.

I was just going to put them in last night and have a first sit, but ran into this bolt-up issue.

(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/NewSeats_2.jpg)
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: EricCoolCats on October 18, 2019, 03:20:35 PM
Those look really nice!

I have '95 GT seats in the '86 and I don't recall there being a need to redrill any holes. Driver's side track is power, passenger side is manual. IIRC there are two sets of holes for the rear attachment; the Cougar/T-Bird uses the ones furthest outward, and the Mustang used the inner ones. Want to say it was around a 2" difference.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 18, 2019, 04:11:14 PM
I'll get pictures tonight. I extended the track upward the max to get the most working clearance, and don't recall seeing anything but one hole per corner.

I also forgot to modify the lock-in of the headrest on the seats before upholstery. Wish these didn't require removal of seat back upholstery in order to release the headrest. I will have to look and see if I can grind anything off the headrest to prevent this, but still allow them to "click into place". I need to be able to take a headrest to an upholstery shop for vinyl match, to get the rear seats done, but this issue would prevent me from installing one of the headrests until then.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Chuck W on October 18, 2019, 06:49:06 PM
It might've been a change in the 99+ cars. 94-98 seats were pretty much a drop-in.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 18, 2019, 08:00:01 PM
Here is what I'm seeing - threads are different location, and I need a spacer on both sides.

Our brackets are flat:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/bracket.jpg)

Our seat frames are flat:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/surface_1988.jpg)

2003 Mustang seat frames mount higher up on the front:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/surface_2003.jpg)

Better shot of the front:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/dip_2003.jpg)

Our brackets have this distance front to back:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/bolts_bracket.jpg)

Measurement on the stock seat:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/bolts_1988.jpg)

Measurement on the 2003 Mustang frame:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/bolts_2003.jpg)


Left to right are 14" on both sets of seats and frames, so width isn't an issue. Measurements without the camera angle throwing things off, the Mustang seat is 14x14 inch bolt spacing. Our stock seats are 14x14-11/16 inch. A difference of 11/16". Mustang seat frame bottom/mounting surface sits up higher in the front.

It seems that welding to the Mustang seat frame would be "best" and tap new holes, or one could drill new holes in our seat brackets and use almost anything as a spacer, with longer bolts.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 18, 2019, 08:08:25 PM
And look how much that dog hair likes to stick to the new fabric, compared to stock. I really like the factory cloth material Ford used...doesn't seem like a vacuum of every piece of fuzz in the garage.

(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/bolts_2003.jpg)
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/bolts_1988.jpg)
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 18, 2019, 08:18:46 PM
On a related topic, where is that ground connector off the center frame/motor supposed to connect to? I don't have anything connected to it, and no wire that I know about, but it seems a spade quick-disconnect type connector is supposed to be pressed onto it.

This is the thing just under the harness connector pictured here (in the photo, looks like a broken wire, but it's a metal piece):

(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/bracket.jpg)
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 19, 2019, 09:18:06 PM
New holes drilled at 14-inches:

(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/SeatTrack_drilled-1.jpg)
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/SeatTrack_drilled-2.jpg)

I needed to clearance the track on the outside edge for the seat frame and upholstery. I didn't want to add an another half-inch of height to the seat using spacers. Seemed very thick metal, so I don't think this is a concern. The other side of the seat tracks (inside) is much smaller.

(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/SeatTrack-Cut.jpg)

This shows the clearance that I needed:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/SeatTrack-Clearance.jpg)

Front-only spacers are still needed since the seat frame bottom isn't flat like our stock seats are:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/SeatTrack-Spacers.jpg)

Other photos of the bottom:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/SeatTrack.jpg)
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/SeatTrack-Right.jpg)

And finally in the car:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/Seat-Installed.jpg)
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 20, 2019, 07:55:15 PM
The passenger manual tracks are already 14" spacing. This was mostly a bolt-in affair.

The 2003 Mustang seat frame is also flat on the passenger side. Driver side was the odd one out.

Measurements:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/PSeatTrack-1.jpg)
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/PSeatTrack-2.jpg)

Mounted and clearance with a couple washers:
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/PSeatTrack.jpg)
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/PSeatTrack-Space-1.jpg)
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/PSeatTrack-Space-2.jpg)

Installed in car (headrests to be installed after modification):
(http://masejoer.com/Images/Thunderbird/Interior/Upholstery/PSeat-Installed.jpg)
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 20, 2019, 07:58:56 PM
I swear both of these seats feel like they sit more forward than stock, but the rear track bolts and sear-back hinge bolts are positioned in the same spot as the old seats. Perhaps these have more rear cushion, and the shorter seat bottoms are just giving me that illusion.

Would like both to have the seat tracks extended rearward a bit at some point.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Aerocoupe on October 23, 2019, 10:54:23 AM
I have heard that the 99+ seats have the latch for the seat belts bolted to the seat itself instead of the trans tunnel.  I have also heard that the 99+ latch will not accept the 95 and down seat belts.  You may have to remove the latch off the seats you have and run with the stock latch so your seat belts will work.  May want to check this now and I would be curious to know if that is BS or not.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 23, 2019, 04:03:43 PM
I did some seat "upgrades" using TMI items as well.  I was able to take a stock set of Turbo Coupe seats and modify them.  First, I stripped them down to the bare frames, added upgraded "Cobra" style foam with more aggressive bolstering from TMI.  Then, I recovered them with a seat cover set from TMI that I was able to custom spec the color combo/material for ... the SVO Mustang used the same charcoal color, so it matched up nicely.  This allowed me to keep the adjustable side bolsters and knee bolster along with the lumbar.

Here's the link, but all of the photos have since disappeared:
https://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/index.php?topic=40410.0

Pics of the finished product ... you'll have to forgive the lighting.  This is where I ended, but there was a lot of experimentation along the way.  I did some hole drilling in a spare power seat track with some Corbeau seats, but just never got them to fit to my liking.  Looks like yours bolted up without too much issue,  Good job.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 23, 2019, 05:00:00 PM
Quote
I have heard that the 99+ seats have the latch for the seat belts bolted to the seat itself instead of the trans tunnel.  I have also heard that the 99+ latch will not accept the 95 and down seat belts.  You may have to remove the latch off the seats you have and run with the stock latch so your seat belts will work.  May want to check this now and I would be curious to know if that is BS or not.

Our seat belt buckles bolt to the seat track. I bolted the seats to my tracks, and the buckles are the same factory ones. I did shorten the buckle mounting bolt on the passenger side so that it doesn't press into the upholstery, but that was just excess bolt length.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 23, 2019, 05:03:20 PM
Quote
I did some seat "upgrades" using TMI items as well.  I was able to take a stock set of Turbo Coupe seats and modify them.  First, I stripped them down to the bare frames, added upgraded "Cobra" style foam with more aggressive bolstering from TMI.  Then, I recovered them with a seat cover set from TMI that I was able to custom spec the color combo/material for ... the SVO Mustang used the same charcoal color, so it matched up nicely.  This allowed me to keep the adjustable side bolsters and knee bolster along with the lumbar.

Here's the link, but all of the photos have since disappeared:
https://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/index.php?topic=40410.0

Pics of the finished product ... you'll have to forgive the lighting.  This is where I ended, but there was a lot of experimentation along the way.  I did some hole drilling in a spare power seat track with some Corbeau seats, but just never got them to fit to my liking.  Looks like yours bolted up without too much issue,  Good job.

Yeah, they sell fox-mustang "Cobra-like" replacement foam and upholstery. I am still tempted to try such a thing out, but I'd also need to repair my broken or bent driver seat-back. There's things that I just like about the stock seats.

Would be easy to flip the Mustang seats.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 24, 2019, 12:04:50 AM
I did some seat "upgrades" using TMI items as well.  I was able to take a stock set of Turbo Coupe seats and modify them.  First, I stripped them down to the bare frames, added upgraded "Cobra" style foam with more aggressive bolstering from TMI.  Then, I recovered them with a seat cover set from TMI that I was able to custom spec the color combo/material for ... the SVO Mustang used the same charcoal color, so it matched up nicely.  This allowed me to keep the adjustable side bolsters and knee bolster along with the lumbar.

Here's the link, but all of the photos have since disappeared:
https://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/index.php?topic=40410.0

Pics of the finished product ... you'll have to forgive the lighting.  This is where I ended, but there was a lot of experimentation along the way.  I did some hole drilling in a spare power seat track with some Corbeau seats, but just never got them to fit to my liking.  Looks like yours bolted up without too much issue,  Good job.

Do those Fox mustang "cobra" version sets work on our frames? Are the frames that similar, or are they identical to Mustangs?
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 24, 2019, 09:39:34 PM
Do those Fox mustang "cobra" version sets work on our frames? Are the frames that similar, or are they identical to Mustangs?

Yes ... sort of ... ha!

Fox Mustang seats are direct bolt ins for our cars.  All you have to do is remove the seat from the Mustang and then swap out the seat brackets from the Mustang ones to the Tbird/Cougar ones and then install them in your car, no drilling or modifying involved.

As far as the actual seat construction and inner frames, there are some variations from year to year.  The Tbirds/Cougars used a 24" seat back, Mustangs used both 24" and 26" ... they flip flopped back and forth between years and possibly models (GT, LX, convertibles).  In my research, I've found the following to basically hold true for Mustangs:

-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. 

If you tear down a Tbird/Cougar sport seat (TC, Sport, XR7) ... the inner frames should match a 90-91 Mustang GT/sport seat, the only overall difference is the smaller profile headrest ... but you can pick whichever style headrest you prefer, they all install into the seat back frame the same way.  I imagine the seat base frames are probably all the same in Mustangs from 87-93.  For the years where they did away with the adjustable knee bolster, I imagine they just achieved this by covering the seat base with a different seat base foam.  The seats that I rebuilt were 87-88 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe seats.  I tore them down to the bare frames and used TMI seat foam part number 43-73790.

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
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 25, 2019, 12:16:15 AM
So you're running the 90-91 seat foam/upholstery with the 87-89 headrest upholstery? The headrest foam is the same as ours?
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: mcb82gt on October 25, 2019, 10:43:41 AM
Any idea about my 83/84 Mustang sport seats?  If they are 24 or 26"?

I would like to redo them and put in my Cougar that has LS Cougar seats.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 25, 2019, 11:24:37 AM
So you're running the 90-91 seat foam/upholstery with the 87-89 headrest upholstery? The headrest foam is the same as ours?

Yes.  The TMI foam and upholstery set that I purchased were 90-91 Mustang spec.

These are the TMI part numbers I used:
TMI Cobra Seat Foam (24")              43-73790
TMI Cobra Seat Upholstery (24")      43-73998
TMI Large Headrest Upholstery       43-7305

The seat upholstery kit (# 43-73998) only covers the front seats.  It is an 8 piece set - (2) seat bottom covers, (2) seat back covers, (2) small headrest covers, and (2) knee bolster covers. 

I called TMI and ordered the upholstery set directly from them because I wanted them to customize the materials and color combo. I believe I ordered the foam from CJ Pony Parts because they were the cheapest option at the time. 

All of the pre-made/off the shelf upholstery kits that TMI sells on various websites are pretty much spec'd as stock Fox Mustang interior replacements.  I requested material samples from TMI and the 84-86 Mustang SVO gray vinyl was an identical match to the factory charcoal gray used in my car on the door panels.  If you have a Tbird/Cougar that shares an interior color with the Mustang, then you can probably get an exact material match ... if not, then you'll need to get creative.

I spec'd the charcoal gray for the body of the seats and then went with a black suede for the inner parts.  Because the 90-91 kit comes with smaller headrests, I had to order the larger headrests as an additional option/charge.  You don't get new headrest foam, you just re-use your existing - peel the stock covering off and install the new covering.  I believe the larger headrest used on the LS/LX/Sport/Turbo Coupe/XR7 are the same as the larger Mustang headrest.

Here's pics of the 87 Mustang seats I had in my car (26" high back) and the Turbo Coupe seats (24" low back) that I ended up converting.  The blue Turbo Coupe seats are now what is converted and in my car.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 25, 2019, 11:39:16 AM
Can you send me the set of photos from your other thread, so I can piece together what all you did? I can pm you my e-mail address if you don't have them up anywhere, such as dropbox, google drive, etc.

It sounds straightforward, but seeing is telling.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 25, 2019, 11:49:48 AM
Any idea about my 83/84 Mustang sport seats?  If they are 24 or 26"?

I would like to redo them and put in my Cougar that has LS Cougar seats.

Do you have the adjustable knee bolster or is the base a single piece?  You probably have the 24" low back, I think all the pre '87 Fox Mustang seats were 24" ... but don't hold me to that.  I'll try to snap a picture of the bare frame when I get home later and post it.  You can measure the backs ... just go from the bottom of the back to the top (below the headrest) ... it should be noticeable if you are well past 24".
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 25, 2019, 12:02:59 PM
Can you send me the set of photos from your other thread, so I can piece together what all you did? I can pm you my e-mail address if you don't have them up anywhere, such as dropbox, google drive, etc.

It sounds straightforward, but seeing is telling.

Unfortunately, I don't have them ... sorry about that.  Don't know why, but looks like I must have deleted most of them from my phone. A have a few, but not much that would help without any context.  I did some searching and LMR has a good video that pretty much holds true: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=tFnsX3tv4fA

I posted the photos directly to the message board, but they must have gotten lost in the move to the new host somehow.  BCA reached out and said that he has them saved.  He's going to try to put them back into the thread over the weekend if he has some time.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 25, 2019, 12:05:12 PM
Sorry ... wrong video ... try this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj7F-wLQFSA

The backseat stuff obviously doesn't apply.  For that, I was able to order material from TMI by the yard.  I took the back seat to a local upholstery shop and had it recovered to match the front seats.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 25, 2019, 07:23:26 PM
Any idea about my 83/84 Mustang sport seats?  If they are 24 or 26"?

I would like to redo them and put in my Cougar that has LS Cougar seats.

Do you have the adjustable knee bolster or is the base a single piece?  You probably have the 24" low back, I think all the pre '87 Fox Mustang seats were 24" ... but don't hold me to that.  I'll try to snap a picture of the bare frame when I get home later and post it.  You can measure the backs ... just go from the bottom of the back to the top (below the headrest) ... it should be noticeable if you are well past 24".


So here's my physical seat measurement research that hopefully helps.  All of these seats are 85-88 Tbird/Cougar.  The bare frame and foam are from an '85 Cougar GS, The red vinyl seat is from my '86 Cougar GS convertible, and the two tone raven sport seat is from an '87-88 Turbo Coupe.  Without taking apart the sport seat, I don't know if the seat back frame is the same part number as the others, but I suspect it is ... the bolstering and contours of the seat are all done with the foam and upholstery.  The base frames are different with a sport seat due to additional bracketry that controls the side bolster in/out adjustment.  Either way, these particular backs all measure to 24" for a Fox Tbird/Cougar.  My only call out is that the LS/LX seat back might be 26" ... I don't have one of those handy to measure but they have appeared "taller" to me in the past.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 25, 2019, 07:26:35 PM
Here's measurements of the actual seats.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 27, 2019, 03:47:30 AM
I have listed the seats for sale, and have a potential sale already getting lined up. Mostly a waste of money and time, but I'll at least recoup my costs and gain some experience. Just lost some garage floor space and storage of foam/upholstery for a couple years...

I'd love to do this Mustang foam/upholstery swap onto the stick frames, after repairing/strengthening my driver side seat back. I'd also likely refinish the frames, as you had.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: ISTLCRUZ on October 27, 2019, 07:45:29 AM
This has really got my attention. This may be something I attempt as a winter project.
Well done
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: 85CougarCobra on October 28, 2019, 09:40:34 AM
I have listed the seats for sale, and have a potential sale already getting lined up. Mostly a waste of money and time, but I'll at least recoup my costs and gain some experience. Just lost some garage floor space and storage of foam/upholstery for a couple years...

I'd love to do this Mustang foam/upholstery swap onto the stick frames, after repairing/strengthening my driver side seat back. I'd also likely refinish the frames, as you had.

Oh man ... sorry to contribute to you selling the seats.  I just went down this rabbit hole through trying to make a set of Corbeau seats work in my car.  I drilled and modified the seat tracks similar to what you were trying to do here and I just wasn't happy with them.  Great seats, just didn't like how they fit in the car.  That's what turned my attention to trying to modify the stock seats and led to all my research and discovery with the TMI options.  You can even just rebuild a stock sport seat with their foam options if you have the usual side bolster deterioration going on.  They also have some interesting foam options that transform the stock seat to a whole different look.  It's a nice alternative and you don't have to worry about fitment issues since your building off of a stock frame.  The main issue is just knowing what seat assembly your working with and then picking the right items to go along with it.
Title: Re: SN95 seats DON'T just "bolt to our tracks"?
Post by: Masejoer on October 28, 2019, 10:26:17 AM
Oh, I'd prefer to keep the passenger side lumbar, and adjustable bolsters on both. No worries there - the stock frames would be ideal for me too, so if I can find new owners for the Mustang seats, I'd be happy.

Years ago I figured the later seats may be stronger too, but I've seen some threads mentioning that the SN95 seatbacks can also twist/bend and get the lean.