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Topic: Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ... (Read 10985 times) previous topic - next topic

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

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:

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #1
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:

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #2
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.

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #3
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.

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #4
Are you recovering the seats to match the rear seat upholstery?
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #5
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.

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #6
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.
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #7
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.
1985 Mercury Cougar XR-7 - 5-speed 
One of 1,246 built

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #8
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.

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #9
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.  :(
Mike

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #10
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.

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #11
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 ..

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #12
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.

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #13
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.
1985 Mercury Cougar XR-7 - 5-speed 
One of 1,246 built

Seat upgrade ... attempt #2 ...

Reply #14
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.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp