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GM Sports Seats installation on a 2nd generation Explorer

762mm

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'99 XLT (4x4, SOHC)
So I decided to finally get rid of my front stock cloth seats and put in some leather seats with headrests (since Ford decided headrests aren't needed on my '99 XLT - I guess they never planned for rear collisions - must be thanks to that red "X" appearing on the ground whenever I brake, lol).

Anyway, I went to a local junkyard and they have a set of front 98 Pontiac Grand Prix GTS sports-like seats (electric) in black leather and with nice headrests that I'm gonna try to get off them for 300$ (they want 400$ for the two seats so far). I wanted something like Acura seats for it, but they didn't have any, and said that if they did, it would go for around 1500$!! :eek:

I was wondering if the brackets would be hard to modify on the Pontiac seats, and what's involved in pulling my current Explorer seats out? I'm gonna measure the seats to make sure they even fit in the Explorer before I buy, but I'm pretty sure they will. I have a welding machine at home, so welding extra brackets or welding my old brackets onto the new seats is not a problem. Please let me know what you guys think about the idea... Thanks.
 



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762mm

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Installed and ready!

So it's a done deal... And looks like I had to answer all my questions myself as I went along. Removing stock seats involved removing four 13mm bolts and one large torx screw that holds the seatbelt to the floor (easy to do, and well accessible).

The seats in both sets are built with custom car-specific brackets... and there was no possibility, however remote, to fit the Pontiac brackets into the explorer. The explorer floor is made to accept only the explorer brakcet, and nothing else. So, for safety reasons and to make things more simple, I decided to swap the brackets off the old stock seats on to my new GM seats.

Both seat sets have the same basic contruction (or design, if you will). Basically I've found out that a car seat is made of two parts - first: the seat itself, which is sitting on a square metal frame, and second: a bracket that bolts onto that seat frame and then goes to secure the seat to the floor. The electric motor that moves/tilts the seat is built into that same bracket, and not into the seat iself (which was a load off my mind, since I could easily keep my electric seat capability).

So, after removing my old seats, I unbolted the brackets off them in order to reuse them (they are held to the seat frame by 4 very visible and easily accessible bolts). I then unbolted the brackets off the GM seats, they too were held to the frames by 4 bolts each (must be a standard or something - same design). I then fitted the Explorer brackets onto the GM seats, drilled new holes for the 4 bolts, and voila! Since my driver's seat is electric, I had to transfer the Ford control module onto the GM seat as well, which required cutting out a piece of plastic and inserting the panel there (didn't want to lose my electric seat feature, lol). All in all it's a pretty simple procedure, if I knew, I would've done it a long time ago. The new seats look awesome, lightyears ahead in looks from the stock seats (plus now I have headrests!). They also have thinner back supports, which provides more space for the people sitting in the back (about 3" more space, but it's still better than nothing - Ford seats are ridiculously thick, having huge cushions).

In conclusion, if you too are tired of your old stock seats, you can pretty much buy seats off any car (as long as they fit in width) and just transfer the Ford brackets onto them, then bolt the seats back into the truck. You will have 100% compatibility, and 100% stock safety, since all the brackets/bolts that actually secure the seat and seatbelt to the floor remain the same. I will post some pics tommorow, if I get a chance...
 












IZwack

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yeah .. where the pics!
 






762mm

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Pics

Took some pics with the cell phone... not the greatest quality of a picture, but it should do.. ;) The power seat control module is set up temporarily for now, I will figure out a way to make it look nicer (as long as the seat moves for now, lol)
 






762mm

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I have a few more, but it looks like I can't post any more pics... 300 kb is the limit (?)
 






0212353

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not bad looking man!
 






762mm

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not bad looking man!

Thanks, that's appreciated... The pictures don't do it justice though, there's a lot of sun glare and the Motorola Razr camera isn't the greatest, lol... I've misplaced my real digital camera somewhere, hehe :D I have a pic of how much space I now have in the back of the truck with the seats fully backed, I like this the most.

All in all I'm really satisfied, it was a big chance I took though... I had no clue of how hard it would be to make this happen, and even the guys at the junkyard thought it'd be a bad idea, hehe... But it turned out to be way more simple than I expected, luckily. The only tools required was an electric drill, a ratchet and a wrench. I bought the seats thinking there would be extensive welding/other modifiations required, and that it'd be a project for at least the next few days... instead it turned out to be very simple, and looks like it's factory.
 






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