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seat foam problems

Discussion in '2007 - 2010 Explorer Sport Trac' started by Dave in KY, July 21, 2011.

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    1. Dave in KY

      Dave in KY New Member

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      Hello all-- first of all, I want to say thanks in advance for any and all feedback available to me. I'm on a couple of other similar forums, but new here.

      The driver seat foam on my 07 Sport Trac is disattaching from the seat frame, leaving me in contact with rather uncomfortable parts of the seat, especially the upper backrest. These are the cloth seats, supplier unknown (maybe Johnson Controls??). I've searched the forum for this item, but found nothing so far. No FSAs, no recalls. But you can see where the foam has literally broken loose and moved back under the upholstery, and even the bottom cushion has small areas on the sides where the support substrate has disattached and moved around. Sitting in the passenger seat reveals just how badly the driver seat has deteriorated.

      I bought the truck new, and I'm 212 lb. and 6' tall, so there's nothing extraordinary about the loads :rolleyes: on my driver seat!

      Has anyone else seen this condition on these seats? Thank you---

      Dave in KY
       
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    3. FLOffroad

      FLOffroad Active Member

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      Yeah, I have an 08 with leather and I'm only like 150lbs, but my driver seat is absolute crap.
      I've cleaned and conditioned the leather constantly, but it's cracked to hell, and there is no support.
      I don't know what to say, but I do know at least that my dealer won't do a damn thing about it without me just buying new seats.

      I don't really know what to say besides maybe to go see a custom auto upholster, and see what they say.
       
    4. Dave in KY

      Dave in KY New Member

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      So you say not only did your leather go to pieces, but the foam padding also failed? At least that's the way I understand your description, when you talk about "support".

      I've never had a seat come apart like this on a new vehicle (at least one I bought new). It has about 57K miles, and this problem started to show over the past winter. Other than this, we absolutely love this truck! It's dead reliable, comfortable, tough, and is our Boy Scout transport of choice.

      I can't believe this is the only failure out there of this type. Anybody else seen this?? Anyone??

      Dave in KY
      '07 Sport Trac XLT
      Charcoal
      Stone cloth interior
       
    5. FLOffroad

      FLOffroad Active Member

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      Well, I wouldn't say the leather's in pieces, but it looks like hell, and, yes, the foam has dismally failed.
      I also agree that my ST, in general, has been reliable. I basically only have problems with the interior. I've had the driver sun visor mirror (which I really didn't use) break once, passenger break twice (and I have no passengers! it's just used to keep the sun shade in place when parked), I have some interior panels that pop out or rattle, and of course the seats are crap.

      I saw a guy about 1-2 years ago with what looked like a brand new decked out F250, and he was pretty big (in comparison to me, probably 250lbs-ish) and he was royally P-O'd because his leather driver's seat was falling apart (I was waiting for my ST for service and got a peak when he was showing it to the employees), but they told him they couldn't help. At the time, I just figured he's a big guy, and for once being underweight will come in handy so I'll never have that problem, but low and behold, I seriously doubt my driver seat will survive 5 years of use, and I only have 30k on my ST.

      Good luck with it. I just ignore it and curse my ST a lot in my head - definitely a love-hate relationship. I suppose it's like having a really attractive, but useless girlfriend that you abhor; however, you stay with her anyway. I haven't gotten rid of it (yet) just because I love seeing it from head on (255 Grabbers give a really cool stance). And like you said, it's reliable, so as long as I'm not getting mechanical problems I'm happy enough.
       
    6. ncranchero

      ncranchero Co-moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      You should still be able to purchase new foam cushions from FORD and have an independent upholsterer replace them if you're not comfortable doing that. The Gen 1 cushions have only recently become unavailable, Gen 2's should still be there.

      I'm just not a fan of leather despite the "status" of having "leather interior". Hot in the summer, cold in the winter and like concrete it's going to crack at some point!
       
    7. GreenMando

      GreenMando Active Member

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      I disagree.

      Leather is the ultimate on seating, insanely over vinyl.

      Leather is hot to sit on in the sun, but it does not cause burns like vinyl. It adjusts to body tempeture quickly.

      Leather is cool to the touch in winter but within minutes is glove comfort.

      Yes, leather cracks! So does my skin everyday. I have had leather seats glove soft 20 years later, with long time care. Frankly most people neglect their leather interiors.

      For me leather is ideal. I work in construction and each time I jump in the truck I am dusty. That dust works it's way thru fabric and distroys the foam. The foam in leather seats lasts a great time. My seats in my XLT are fabric and are ok right now. I know they will not hold up thou. When I replace them they will be leather as were the seats in my Bronco.
       
    8. ncranchero

      ncranchero Co-moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Disagreement is expected as opinions differ. Obviously from FLOffroad's post YMMV. I do not want vinyl either. I agree with you on the differences in vinyl/leather. IMO, the cloth material in Gen 1 seats is ideal for a "utility" type vehicle, (as are the rubber floor coverings which I never cared for before). A lot of Sport Trac seats fail and IMO it's one of their weak points. I've had many, many vehicles in my 56 years and I have never seen seats deteriorate as these Sport Trac seats do. Glad you find your leather ideal, as I do my "canvas style" cloth ones. Sorry about your skin. That element exposure in construction work is murder on your hide, LOL ! People DO neglect their leather (and their hide :) ) and they pay for it. It's all all a personal preference thing I guess. Enjoy yours, I will mine!:thumbsup:
       
    9. GreenMando

      GreenMando Active Member

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      No, sorry. I hope I never represented my sport trac as never having anything other than fabric.
      In my past trucks I revel in their quality and benefits.
       
    10. FLOffroad

      FLOffroad Active Member

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      My family has always does leather because it's easier to clean (dogs, etc.). I could care less about the status - especially with an Explorer. I mean, yes, if I had a VW, a Mustang, Merc, etc. I'd feel that leather seats just fit the vehicle, but that's definitely not true with my ST.

      And I don't know what my leather cracked so bad. Like I said - I took care of it, and I'm in FL so it's just super hot and humid all year round. I can't remember the last time my skin's been cracked when I'm in FL so why does my leather?
       
    11. Dave in KY

      Dave in KY New Member

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      Well, this is what I needed to hear about, and I thank all of you for chiming in here. So it turns out that this foam disattaching from the seat frame is not uncommon on these vehicles! But I agree-- I am 62, and I've owned lots of vehicles new and used, but I have never, ever seen a seat fall apart like this driver seat as I described. It has to be related to the process used in the supplier's plants, since on most newer vehicles the foam and the fabric are integral processes. I can tell you it's REAL uncomfortable, especially when I sit over on the passenger side, and I recall what MY seat USED to feel like!

      Come on Ford-- TSBs and FSAs are issued all the time for problems and issues much less significant than this, and reputable manufacturers make it right. I'm going to start with the dealer I bought the truck from, knowing what they will say, but I'm going to work my way up the customer service chain of command and try to at least get my seat back replaced. I'll even do the work, as long as Ford (and their tier one supplier) supplies a quality seat back assembly. This is your basic failure of a major interior component in the field, long before its time. Hell, my brother bought a new Fiat Brava sports sedan back in 1980 which turned out to be absolute junk, but at least the seats held up!

      Thanks again, guys. Much appreciated. I am not the conversion/hotrod guru some of you are, but I am an old gearhead and ex-tech, so anything I can contribute to here, I certainly will do so. This is my sole complaint with our beloved ST!

      Dave in KY
       
    12. Dave in KY

      Dave in KY New Member

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      BTW-- I work for the local urban-county government here in Lexington, and in their fleet they have a number of Explorers 2006 and up. Every one of them I've seen so far (5 or 6) have the same problem we're discussing here. That's a shame.. such a nice, comfortable truck/SUV series, and Ford did a great job on the rest of the vehicle engineering, yet something as basic as the seat upholstery support is crap!

      From my own 32 years experience in manufacturing, with a couple of tier 1 and 2 automotive suppliers, some pretty boy in Ford procurement is polishing his cost reduction apple at OUR expense, and has been doing so for several model years running. That's bullsh*t, gentlemen!

      Dave in KY
       
    13. STrac4me

      STrac4me Active Member

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      No big problems with either one of my STrac seats. I had a Generation 1 and no problems there and my Generation 2 is good except.....I have the two tone seats (dark on the outside/light on the inside) and the outer section is showing some wear from getting in/out. The other problem is the seat cover latch (plastic bar up front) has come loose and I have been unsucessful putting it back in place. I have not found any problem with seat foam so far. Good luck with your problem.
       
    14. Broncstang

      Broncstang New Member

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      Dave,
      I have the same problem on our 2005 XLT. On mine, it seems that the foam has split in the middle and moves back on the frame letting the cloth ride directly on the frame. This is on the side closest the door. I think that this side gets a lot of stress placed on it by entering and exiting. I agree, if this is a prevalent problem then Ford should offer some sort of recall or fix. I googled "explorer seat foam" and wound up here. If the seat-back foams are available from Ford that would be great. I will have to check the parts dept. Otherwise, I was thinking about removing it from the seat and possibly fusing the foam back together with 3-M yellow wetherstrip adhesive or something similar. Also, if I do get the foam fused back together, I think I will try to install some sort of brace across the back of the frame from one side to the other to provide some support for the foam to keep it from bearing all of the weight by itself. Gee, maybe something along those lines could be a Ford fix also. I think the seats just needed a brace or two across the back to prevent this from happening in the first place. My whole seat back moves back and it is getting worse because the inner upright is just beginning to do the same thing because it is providing all of the support to keep it in place now. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one with this problem!

      Dave in Ind. (Broncstang)
       
      Last edited: August 22, 2011
    15. ncranchero

      ncranchero Co-moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      [​IMG]
      The side supports that fit into "slots" cut in the bottom foam eventually rip through the foam allowing the side to collapse. The outside always goes first since that's where you drag your butt in & out over the edge. The seat frame for the back just has poor support, that's all there is to it.
      [​IMG]
       
    16. Dave in KY

      Dave in KY New Member

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      Broncstang's seat foam issues

      I hear you, man. Mine failed on the right upper edge of the driver seat, and is progressively coming apart down to the lower cushion. I called the dealer's parts department, and the cover is $97 and change. What a deal, huh? Ford specs out crap for their seats, the supplier gladly builds it, Ford insists they cost reduce it 10% further, supplier obliges them, vehicle seats fall apart prematurely in service, customer gets to repair them at his cost. That's a crock...

      "They all do that" applies to about every vehicle out there, I suppose.

      And that's how I found this site, also-- googling the same topic. Great website!

      Dave in KY
       
    17. Broncstang

      Broncstang New Member

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      Dave in KY,
      I'll have to check with my local dealership for the seatback foam. $97 isn't as bad as I would have thought. In the photos that ncranchero posted, the wire supports on the back frame must have been deleted by 2005 because I have run my hand up inside the cover from the bottom at the back of the seat up the frame and all I can feel is a lug with a sawtooth edge (I guess to hold the foam in place?) about half way up the frame. My foam seems like it is formed so that the seatframe rests inside a channel in the foam. I don't think there is a wire brace across the frame from one side to the other. I won't know for sure until I get it apart to repair. If the frame rests in a channel as I suspect, then maybe before I install new or repaired foam I could put something in the channel for extra strength. A section of thinwall conduit cut in half lengthwise to form a half-circle should provide the support to keep the foam from splitting in two. The sawtooth lug is where mine started to split, so I would remove it or cut a slot in the conduit to accomadate it.

      Broncstang
       
    18. FLOffroad

      FLOffroad Active Member

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      Has anybody taken out the seat slider apparatus? Assuming it has a flat bottom, that means we could replace our seats with Corbeaus using a universal slider (Corbeau doesn't make a custom slider for us). I feel like that'd be better than paying for new foam (more expensive, yes, but I like to fix stuff at the root).
      I don't plan on doing any such thing soon, but it's just an idea I figured I'd throw out there. And just because you buy Corbeaus doesn't mean you have to get ridiculous custom looking ones. Corbeau has a few chair models that look pretty OEM.
       
    19. JohnnyO

      JohnnyO Moderator Emeritus

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      Getting the seat foam now as a pre-emptive strike might be a good idea. I had a new top put on my son's 2000 Mustang convertible this summer and asked the shop about a driver's seat cushion. It's been flat since we got the car, I'm thinking the previous owner was a big guy but junior is the size of my dad* and ain't no flyweight at 240. Dude calls the dealer, they find that it's out-of-stock at Ford but another supplier bought the remaining ones up and had 12 left for $600 each. Upholstery shop dude says "That can happen, especially on cars like that that people will keep and restore". He was able to top it with more foam for $35.

      In my case I have tan cloth seats and they just seem to look dirty all the time. I'm a cleaning contractor and I own an extractor cleaner. It does pull dirt out of the seats but they really don't look any different afterward.

      *I'm 6'1" 185 and the smallest guy in my family by a long shot.
       
    20. GO Dawgs

      GO Dawgs New Member

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      I am having the same problem with the drivers seat cushion on 05 Explorer XLT with cloth seats. I've pull the cloth as far up as I can and can see that the cushion just ripped and now i am literally leaning on the metal seat frame, not very comfortable. Being i only have 80k miles one would think the seat should be able to hold up a little better. Im 6'2, 215lbs. Does Ford even sell just the foam? I'd hate to have to replace the entire seat. Seems like it it just a poor design.
       
    21. Dave in KY

      Dave in KY New Member

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      replacing seat covers

      As I mentioned, I checked on the cost for the seatback cover for mine ('07), and it was $97, which was cheaper than I had expected. I suggest you take your truck to the dealer so they can get the VIN and upholstery code correct, and get a price on just the seat cover, if it's still available. It may not be that expensive.

      Dave in KY
       

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