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  1. #1

    Default Is a high quality 85/86 GT seat cover available?

    I am working on restoring a 1985 mustang GT with a gray interior with red piping. I have found that TMI does sell an interior seat kit for it however the color appears to be way off from the factory. The interior in my car is basically perfect with the exception of the driver seat Bolster and drivers seat red piping. What prevents a person from converting a factory passenger seat fabric (which I'm hoping I can find in good shape) onto a drivers seat frame? Is there a better option? If so what do you estimated the cost to be for that option and how close to factory looking will it be?

  2. #2
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    You could take the car or sear to a upholstery shop. If the original fabric is available the shop can replace the bolster fabric as well as the piping. The upholstery shop might have a supplier that can provide original fabric.you can also check with SMS Auto Fabrics they have NOS fabrics. I have had this done a couple of times on various cars with great success.

  3. #3
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    The TMI kit is a decent kit if you want new upholstery that is similar to the OEM stuff but at a reduced cost. IMHO the kit doesn't look bad when installed, but as you pointed out it is not an identical match to the original materials.

    I have not checked, but SMS Auto Fabrics https://smsautofabrics.com/ will be your best bet for original materials. Expect the material (especially the center inserts) to run @ $100-$125/yard. I am not 100% on the 85/86 seats, but you are most likely looking at 2.5-3 yards to do both front seats and the rear seats of the insert materials alone. I would recommend verifying that with your local upholstery shop or TMI directly. Also TMI will do custom work using your supplied OEM materials to make new covers for your seats. The kit price is still the same as their standard kits, but it's an option if you don't have an local upholstery shop or the local prices are too high. I have priced out this exact option for my 82 RS to restore the factory seats using materials from SMS and having TMI sew up the upholstery for me. Honestly between new foam, OEM materials, TMI sewing I am looking at a minimum of $1200 to do both front seats and the rear seats. Not a cheap option, but at that point, I will have a brand new original material and original looking 1982 set of seats.

    As for using a passenger side cover on the driver side, that is an option and has been done before. The biggest issue for most is the side bolster material is a bit thin and with age/wear/sun damage becomes easily tear and rip prone. Therefore care must be exercised when removing the cover and even more so when fitting to the driver seat to prevent ripping or tearing the material.

    The other option too if your interior is in very good condition might be to purchase original side bolster material from SMS and have a local upholstery shop repair your driver seat. If your interior is clean and doesn't have major sun damage that will most likely be the least expensive and simplest solution. The big issue for most is the new material is often a much brighter and cleaner looking material than the rest of the interior and looks different even thought it's correct. Good Luck!
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Awaiting Restoration
    1984 SVO Restoration in Progress
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1982 Capri Roller
    1984 Capri Returned to Bubble Back Glory
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 4spd T-tops

  4. #4
    FEP Super Member sowaxeman's Avatar
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    Lets not mistake quality for 100% match. The TMI kit is of very good quality and fitment. I have seen it installed on several cars, and was part of the restoration of an 85 Saleen with tan interior in which the TMI kit was used. Its a very good product if you are in need of quality upholstery for a restoration.

    I've said it in here many times, the TMI kit is not a 100% perfect color match by any means. If you are a purist and going for a 100% Concours/OEM correct look then sure you will be dissapointed...but only in the color match. If you are looking for a simple refresh of your interior from 100k mile torn and faded seats...then its a no-brainer IMO. Also keep in mind, the color differences still look great in our interiors because let's face it...there were enough color contrasts in the plastic, fabric and carpet already from the factory.

    If you are of the "gotta have 100% match" mentality, then I think taking the seats to a custom upholster is the way to go. They can usually get a perfect or near perfect match...probably closer than the TMI kit. But for the record, I wouldn't consider it "way off" in terms of the match.

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    Jason Smith
    MCA #65481

    '82 GT Med. Red - 14k Mile Orig. Survivor
    '85 GT Black - 16k Mile Orig. Survivor (Foxtoberfest 2016 Best Original 79-86)
    '88 #400 Saleen Coupe "Mean Machine" Legal Guardian
    '92 LX 5.0 Calypso - 10k Mile Orig. Survivor (Sold @ Foxtoberfest...2017 Best Original 87-93)
    '93 LX Yellow/Black Summer Feature - 2,700 Mile Original Survivor
    '05 S-281 Mineral Grey - 16k miles @ counting.

  5. #5

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    I am in the process of converting a good passenger side seat onto a drivers side frame... this is just after a wash

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  7. #7

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    1986 GT T Top- stock except for magnaflow cat back
    1990 LX vert- 500hp V3 and all that stuff
    2013 GT- usual bolt ons

  8. #8

  9. #9
    FEP Super Member sowaxeman's Avatar
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    They look like it to me based on the slight color differences from factory. But another example of a good fit & finish from what I can see.
    Jason Smith
    MCA #65481

    '82 GT Med. Red - 14k Mile Orig. Survivor
    '85 GT Black - 16k Mile Orig. Survivor (Foxtoberfest 2016 Best Original 79-86)
    '88 #400 Saleen Coupe "Mean Machine" Legal Guardian
    '92 LX 5.0 Calypso - 10k Mile Orig. Survivor (Sold @ Foxtoberfest...2017 Best Original 87-93)
    '93 LX Yellow/Black Summer Feature - 2,700 Mile Original Survivor
    '05 S-281 Mineral Grey - 16k miles @ counting.

  10. #10
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    I agree with Jason, those appear to be TMI covers to me too.

    I will also second Jason's comments and I may have stated it earlier in the thread. The TMI kits are very good quality and make a huge difference for most Four Eyes and even Aero Mustangs. The center seat material is different, but honestly is a nice material and doesn't look bad by any definition. No, it's not "Correct" or original, but it is still a very good quality material. True Mustang enthusiasts will know the difference, but no one else would in most cases. Besides for the price most Mustang vendors are selling the TMI kits for they are hard to beat. I suggest going to a local upholstery shop and get a quote for just the covers to compare. I will wager TMI will be a much cheaper option.
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Awaiting Restoration
    1984 SVO Restoration in Progress
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1982 Capri Roller
    1984 Capri Returned to Bubble Back Glory
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts
    1982 Capri RS 5.0 4spd T-tops

  11. #11

    Default

    I have for sale in the classifieds enough material to reupholster your drivers seat. this is original material at a very fair price! Perfect match because its from Ford no better option available. TMI kits are nice but not exact. My upholstery shop was able to re use the red piping on my seats and just replace the Charcoal and light gray fabric. Back seat looks like new! Atlanta GA
    85 Mustang GT

  12. #12

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    who has best price on those TMI kits? they seem to look pretty good to me. Do they have thicker bolster material, that does seem to be pretty thin on the originals. My driver side is wearing pretty thin.

  13. #13
    FEP Power Member vintageracer's Avatar
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    For YEARS I have swapped passenger seat covers to driver's side seats all the time to make crappy driver's seat look new or almost new. Everyone always wonders how I can find so many good driver's seats for all the vehicles I have had. With late model vehicles such as a Dodge Truck sometimes it's as easy as a 4 bolt swap on the complete seat bottom from passenger side to driver's side.

    I just did the swap on my daughter's 2001 ML320 Mercedes replacing the torn leather in the driver's seat bottom with a NICE passenger seat bottom from a ML320 at the local LKQ junkyard. No sewing just disassemble and re-assemble the driver's seat bottom with the nice passenger side leather cover. Cost of the nice OEM leather cover from LKQ? $10.00 for the total repair and my time!

    For earlier vehicles like Foxbody Mustangs all I usually have to swap/replace the seat bottom side panels. If they are good I do a swap of the side panels side to side. If the side panels are bad you can always buy 1 yard of NOS material and you have a lifetime supply for side panel swaps. I have my local seat cover repair shop do the sewing. In most cases the cost is less than $50.00 for the sewing and repair.

    There are still LOT'S of good passenger side seats/seat covers out there to make this swap on front seats. For rear seats you generally have to go the NOS material route for patches and repairs as their is not a enough material in a good passenger seat cover to make any repairs to a rear seat.

    Now you know my little driver's seat swap trick that keeps the seats original with OEM seat covers/fabric!
    Last edited by vintageracer; 03-18-2018 at 11:26 AM.
    Mike
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    1995 Ford Powerstroke F350 "Centurion" STRETCHED Crew Cab Dually

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