Relocating your seat tracks. - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Relocating your seat tracks.

If you are over 6 foot tall, more than likely you feel cramped when driving your early Mustang. Being 6'2", I needed more leg room to comfortably use the clutch pedal. After a little research and thought on the subject, I did a couple of things so I could better enjoy driving my car.

First I lowered the seat pan (platform) as per this article from Mustangs Plus. Lowering the seat pan is optional if you do not want to do any serious modification to your car.

Next I relocated my seat tracks more rearward through the use of some flat steel bar stock, which was readily available from a local welding fabrication shop. This method does not modify the basic structure of the car and allows for the use of the factory floor pan access holes found under the car:



Here is a picture of how the original seal tracks bolt to a typical seat:



Note the brackets on the upper left of the picture. These are a completed pair of seat track extensions..

The seat tracks can be removed from the seat by using a large #3 Phillips screwdriver. If the bolts are very tight, a hand held impact driver may be required. Here are the parts that you just removed:



You will not need to modify any of these original parts, except maybe the rear most stud on each track. More on that later in the article.

To create the seat track extensions, I used 5’ of 5/16" x 1 ” thick low carbon flat steel. This was enough material to modify all 4 seat tracks of my Mustang.

First I cut the steel into 4 sections, each being 15” long, which will allow for up to 3” of additional seat travel:



If desired, you could cut them to just 14” if you only want 2” of addition travel, which was all that I really needed.

Next I drilled several holes in the flat steel, using the factory seat track as a template:



A pair of holes were first added in the soon-to-be seat track extensions to allow bolts to be inserted into the original seat pan holes. I countersunk these holes and installed a 5/16" x 18 thread flat head cap screw into each of them, with the heads being flush to the top surface of the track:



The flat head bolts and the countersink are needed so that there will be no interference with the tracks movement fore and aft. I welded the heads of the cap screws into place and ground the welds flat. The welding is required because you will not be able to insert a tool onto all the heads once the track is assemble to the extension.

Next I drilled another pair of holes 2” to the rear of the first set of holes. This will allow for 2” more leg room. I also drilled another pair of holes 3” away from the first (countersunk cap screwed) set. This would give 3” of leg room for an extra tall driver. In my case, I found that I did not need this extra travel.



I also needed to drill extra holes to clearance the rivets found on the seat tracks. Normally they are embedded into the carpet and do not cause a problem:



Notice how the parts fit together. Here is another shot:



I discovered that the spring retaining bracket of one of the seat tracks interfered with the travel. For this I used got fancy and used a mill to notched some clearance for those brackets:



You could probably do the same thing with an angle grinder. Once you are satisfied with the fit of the brackets to the seat tracks, they should be painted. Because part of the extensions will be seen when installed, it would be best to paint them the same as your carpet color. Lucky for me, my carpet it black and that is what I went with.

Reinstall the seat tracks to the seats using the original hardware. With some new 5/16” nuts and lock washers, install the new extension brackets to the seat tracks. You will notice that you will have 4 studs sticking down out of the bottom of the assembly. Three of these studs are no problem. The fourth stud will require that you drill 2 holes in your seat pan (for each seat) in order to create the a place for the original seat track stud since it is now relocated. You will not need to drill through the lower floor pan, just the upper pan. The holes will need to be large enough for the afore mentioned nut and bolt to pass through:



The pencils show where I drilled the two 5/8” diameter holes:



The stud passing through the new hole:



The corresponding holes are shown cut into the carpet:



You should now be able to reinstall the seat back into the car using the original nuts. Initially I did not use the long U shaped carpet protecting washers, but later added them to the front in order to create a little more tilt to the seat.

The following photo shows what the front of the seat looks like after the mod with the seat in the rearmost position. They are not as noticeable as they appear in the photo since the color matches the carpet.



You will not see the remainder of the extension when looking in the car. The rearmost part of the extensions hangs out over the rear floor space and is hidden by the seat. As mentioned earlier, I felt it necessary to shortened the rear studs somewhat to prevent accidents should a rear seat passenger stick his foot up under the seat.

My new seat location is absolutely wonderful after doing the 2 above modifications. I can comfortably reach the clutch and brake, plus I like the steering wheel at more of an arms length. The manual shifter is just in my reach when it is shoved forward. Due to the seat pan drop, I can comfortably wear a helmet and not rub the headliner, whatsoever. About the only negatives I find with this installation is that the dash is farther away and that means I must lean forward to start the car, turn on the wipers, the headlights, or adjust the radio. Also, if you have the deluxe retractable seatbelts, there is not enough room for the retractor to mount—the stock type seatbelts fit just fine. I still believe that the added comfort far and away overcomes the negatives.
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Dennis

65' Stang Street/Strip. Dart 434W NA, Victor heads, G101A 4 Spd, 4:56 rear gear, on 93 octane pushing 3550lbs. [email protected]

Last edited by dennis111; 08-28-2008 at 01:52 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 07:06 PM
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Re: Relocating your seat tracks.

good write-up dennis,
ive been looking for this type of mod for the front seats in my 81 aussie LTD for some time now ,
and what you have done could probably be performed on alot of different fords

81 aussie ltd-351w,rpm heads,performer rpm airgap intake,10.3 com,angus 1.6 rollers ,1 5/8 long tubes,750 edelbrock,comp xe274h,c4
82 GT mustang 302w-4 speed
55 two door ranchwagon
69 xw falcon wagon
08 softail
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 07:56 AM
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Re: Relocating your seat tracks.

Yes, a very good write-up. I would like to do this on my Mustang II, but my significant other drives with the seat pulled forward. I'll have to check and see if she can still pull it far enough forward if it is mounted 2" back. I've got a set of electric seat tracks from an 85 T-bird I want to mount before I try this.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2008, 09:06 AM
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Re: Relocating your seat tracks.

Great mod, wish I could weld..

I did something very similar in my '67 coupe as I'm 6'1" and added '90 fox body seats for shoulder/neck support.

I used the '90 seat tracks and drilled a flat bar as you but used grade 6 (highest I could get) carriage bolts and filed square holes so the slides would clear. I did not cut my floor pans or drill new holes and used the stock mounting points in the seat bottoms for strength.

I cut my flat bar at 14" and it gave me more rear slide space than I even need and the '90 seats put my legs no closer to the wheel as they appear the same height at the knee bolster.

Next step is to get seat covers to fit the '90 seats and match my rear seats horizontal factory stitching and 3 point seat belts.
I can post pics in a new post if anyone's interested in this.
Jon

'67 Mustang Coupe 289 AT modding Trans Am style
"If it ain't broke, I haven't fixed it yet"
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2008, 09:09 AM
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Re: Relocating your seat tracks.

Jon,
You should add your pics as support to this thread.
Cheers,
Jon
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2008, 10:50 AM
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Re: Relocating your seat tracks.

What can be done for those who are very tall and also need to accommodate short people is this (I did this for a friend a few years back).

I essentially did the same as shown in the attached pictures but in a slightly different manner. I took an extra set of seat tracks, cut out a 6" section from each and welded in on the back so the seat could go 6" further back than original. This was carefully but-welded. I had to cut a few notches for the locks to slip in to and remove the stop (bent tab on the track) to allow the extra rear movement, but the studs were left in place so no new holes were put in the carpet or floors. The seat springs (return to forward springs not the lock springs) were worn out enough and my friend is strong enough to easily put the seat all the way back.

Laziness is the mother of invention. :-)
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 09:19 PM
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Re: Relocating your seat tracks.

Here are some pics to add to this thread of when I swapped out my '67 seats to '90 seats and used the tracks from the '90 seats. I didn't cut my floor pans or drill any addtl. holes in the floor.

First I drilled/chiseled the 'feet' off the '90 sliders that make it sit higher and ended up with flat sliders that look like the '67's. I used piece of flat bar and drilled holes, then filed them square to use grade 6 carriage bolts so they would clear the slides. I had to flatten 2 sides on each carriage bolt so it would sit into the U groove of the slider, easy to do with my bench grinder.

I mounted them as far forward on the seat tracks as possible and the seat goes back farther than I even need at 6'1". The rear bolt is short so it doesn't catch the carpet when sliding the seat. I used a piece of alum. flat bar and bent it like a Z so my slider spring would still work. Wasn't too hard, no welding, they're much more comfortable and give me better whiplash protection. Next will be ordering seat covers to match the horizontal pattern of the orignal seats from TMI. There is also a built in electric lumbar support I haven't wired up yet and full recline is a plus.
As you can see they are almost the same dimensions seat height and width wise as the originals.
Jon
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'67 Mustang Coupe 289 AT modding Trans Am style
"If it ain't broke, I haven't fixed it yet"
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