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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
    New User
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Richmond Hill New York


    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 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
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Grand Junction, CO


    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 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!

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

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    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
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    1982 GT Awaiting Restoration
    1984 SVO Restoration in Progress
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  4. #4
    FEP Super Member sowaxeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Greenwood, IN


    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


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

  6. #6

  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

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