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How to pull the driver seat fabric up to add foam to seat

Zeromarine

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City, State
Kamloops B.C
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 sport Trac xlt
Just wondering how you go about pulling the driver seat back fabric? On my 2002 sport Trac. I’m wanting to add some foam to the seat, and check to make sure any of the springs aren’t broken also. As my lumbar sinks down a bit further then I would like.
Thanks
 


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koda2000

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I've replaced the seat bottom leather on several Gen II Explorer/Mountaineer driver's seat bottoms. While in there I typically find broken springs an less than perfect, but still serviceable seat foam.

Warning: This is a time consuming job.

1) The seats are held in by 4 bolts. Raise the seat (if power) a bit and move it forward and backward to get better access to the 4 bolts. It's a good idea to first get under the vehicle and spray a penetrant on the bolt threads and even wire brush the exposed threads to remove rust and dirt to make removing he bolts easier. You will also need to remove the plastic covers off the rear bolts (assuming they're still there) and also remove the inside seat belt bolt & track (T50 IIRC) as it's attached to the seat bottom.

2) Once the seat is unbolted, tip it forward to get access to the electrical connections (air bag wiring, seat belt reminder switch, and power seat power supply).

3) Now the seat can be removed from the vehicle and the plastic trim panel(s) removed (Phillips screws). The knob and the cable disconnected for the adjustable lumbar support and the seat back can also be unbolted from the bottom. The large lumbar adjustment knob can be popped off with 2 large screwdrivers, or pry bars. The cable has a connector that you push together and unhook once the adjustment tension is relaxed. Then remove the bolts that hold the seat back to the seat bottom.

4) With the bottom removed from the seat back, flip it over and remove the 4 bolts that hold the seat to the mounting base. Now you are ready to remove the seat cover.

5) The cover is held to the metal frame of the seat with wide plastic clips that are part of the cover. You can pry them loose from the edges of the metal frame with a long screw driver. Then there are a series of "hog" rings (maybe 7-8 per side) that pull the covering tight to the seat frame. The hog rings need to be cut or twisted off to remove cover from the foam and seat frame. Once the cover is off the foam can be removed and replaced or built up as desired. I suggest you remove the foam to examine the condition of the seat springs and to repair them as necessary.

6) You will need a supply (15-20) new hog rings and either a good pair of strong needle nose pliers (or a good set of hog ring pliers) to reattach the seat covering to the frame when your done.

New foam and seat covering can be purchased from www.theseatshop.com but this stuff is not cheap (around $100 for foam and around $200 for new leather). They also offer vinyl substitute covers for around $130. I would think an automotive seat shop count replace broken support springs. I've found the quality of theseatshop's products are excellent and they are very helpful.

Tip: Consider placing a supporting fabric (like burlap) between the seat foam and the wire springs to give extra support to the foam.

Reassembly is the opposite of disassembly. If you attempt this job plan on spending a minimum of 1/2 day to complete it.
 




Zeromarine

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Kamloops B.C
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 sport Trac xlt
Appreciate it! Mine doesn't have the lumbar system. Can I pull the back seat cover off enough to check the springs and stuff some foam in there while the seat is still bolted in ? Its just sunken in a little bit in the lumbar area. Thanks
 




koda2000

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Appreciate it! Mine doesn't have the lumbar system. Can I pull the back seat cover off enough to check the springs and stuff some foam in there while the seat is still bolted in ? Its just sunken in a little bit in the lumbar area. Thanks

Once you have the mounting bracket off the bottom of the seat base you can probably see the springs (thin spring steel rods running from front to back) and maybe the coil springs which are on the rear. I don't think there will be anything you do about broken springs without getting at them from the top though.
 




sehaare

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98XLT 4WD SOHC,94XLT gone
Two suggestions while you are doing this.

First, when I had mine apart I swapped the seat bottom foam between the driver and passenger seats. one side of the foam tends to get work down from getting in and out of the car. If you swap them it moves fresh foam to that side.

Second if you are going to have it all apart, might as well turn them into heated seats. You can order heated seat pads and all the wiring online, the hardest part of the installation is taking the seat apart and putting it back together which you are already doing anyway.
 




Zeromarine

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Kamloops B.C
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 sport Trac xlt
Thanks everyone for the advise. The seat base cushion is good for the most part. It’s just the back of the seat that I want to check the springs and add a bit of foam. I’ll see what I can do.
 




gmanpaint

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Your going to have to take the seat out to work on it. No getting around that.

There are no springs in the seat back. At least not in any of the seats I have seen yet. There is a bit of a trick to removing the seat backs cover. You need to reach up inside from the bottom of the backside, and feel for the crossbar. About halfway up, you will find it. There is a velcro flap that goes over this crossbar, that has to be removed, before you can slide the seat cover off the seat frame. Once the cover is off, everything will make sense on how it works.

The lumber support inside them is a cross frame that is only tack welded on, and they can break. Mine did, and I welded it back on. The air bladder for the lumber support is attached to this section. When my lumber section welds broke, it also broke the bladder by cracking it. I replaced the bladder with thick foam, until I can replace the bladder.Yours might not have the bladder option, and have the cable mechanism. Don't have any advice on that style, sorry.

The seat back foam is molded to the frame work. It fits snug onto the frame tubes, and is a royal PITA to get back on correctly. Be prepared to fight yours if it has lost some of it's shape over the years. Getting that velcro flap back on, will seem impossible at first, but just keep at it, eventually it will go back on.
 




Zeromarine

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Messages
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City, State
Kamloops B.C
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 sport Trac xlt
Pulled the j clip off and took a look into the seat back. Everything looked good. I don’t have lumbar and there was no Velcro’s holding anything. So I put it back together. And just got a thin cushion I put behind my back works perfect. My wife likes it as is so it’s not s big issue. Appreciate all the help.
 




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