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Different question about seat foam swap


Elite Explorer
November 6, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Des Moines, Iowa
Year, Model & Trim Level
'01,'02, '04 Sport Tracs,
I've swapped the bottom seat foam from passenger side to driver's side several times, so I know the ins and outs of it. I need to do this again, and have several seats to swap the foam from, but on the 1 seat I looked at today, the wires under the foam have already started cutting into the foam. That's probably what's happened on the seat I need new foam for. My question is, has anyone found a suitable way to keep the wires under the foam from cutting into the foam?

The last time I did this on my '94 Explorer seat, I put a piece of plastic I'd cut off a bigger sheet between the wires and foam, but that plastic was a little too thick and made the seat pretty stiff. I bought my Sport Trac a short time later and stopped driving the Explorer, so I don't know if it got better over time, but I doubt it. Any suggestions?

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I have some seat foam to rework too with that issue.

I purchased some heavy canvas that I plan to cover the underside of the foam with (cut it to size and attach it with adhesive spray). I haven’t done it yet but I think that should help distribute the load over the foam and ant the same time prevent it from separating.

That's the kind of input I was looking for! I think canvas should work perfectly for this, but you don't need adhesive. The wires will hold it in place.

I actually completed this project yesterday when the weather was nice. Looking around at what I had on hand after I started this thread, I found a heavy duty shopping bag that's very similar to canvas that should work. If I had used that, I would have put a piece of a thin yoga mat in the bag. Probably wouldn't need the mat, but it seemed like a good idea. But then I found a thin rubber floor mat with carpet on one side. The seats in both my Sport Tracs are some I swapped in from 1998-99 Explorers with the manual lumbar adjustment. Since the driver's seat in both trucks are identical, I pulled the driver's seat out of the '01 that's not running and inserted a cut-to-fit piece of the floor mat between the foam and wires with the carpet side toward the wires. I didn't test it, but it looked like it'll work, so I did same with the seat in my '02 yesterday.

In both seats, I found 1 broken wire, and 1 spring had come off, in addition to the wires cutting deep into the foam. I knew the spring had come off 1 seat because I felt it go. Not much way to fix the wires, but putting the spring back on was easy enough. You don't need to remove the foam from the seat for this fix. Just peel the upholstery back and tilt the foam to get access to the bottom of the foam. After driving 75 miles or so last night and today with the spring and floor mat in place, I think this fix was a success. Before, it felt like my butt was almost on the floor, but now the ride height is what it should be, and the seat is firm without being too harsh. Whatever you use, keep it thin. The floor mat I used is as thick as you'd want. Canvas should be fine.

A couple of things I learned -

Removing the foam from 2nd Gen Explorer power seats with the adjustable lumbar is more complicated than pulling the foam from a manual seat with no lumbar adjustment. The adjuster cable runs through the bottom foam at the rear inside corner, and the wiring harness for the switches runs through the upholstery. The adjustment knob prevents the plastic trim with the switches from coming off the seat. There's surely a way to remove the knob, but it isn't necessary for this project.

I removed the 1st seat I did from the truck and then took it apart. I tried to take the 2nd seat off the track in the truck, thinking that might be simpler and quicker. It's possible, but wasn't quicker or easier. I ended up unbolting the seat track from the floor, but didn't take it out of the truck. Removing the seat and track as a unit and taking it apart outside the truck is the way to go.

That was another option I considered.