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  1. #1

    Default Sport Seat Restoration

    Hi all, I had a few questions around the Mustang sport seats.

    I have an 83 GT that had the seats replaced at some point in its life. I stumbled onto a cheap set of 86 GT sport seats, that are in pretty rough condition, that I thought I might try and put some effort into.

    I'm not sure if what I'm thinking can be done, but here are the questions that I have:

    Are the frames the same between the 86GT sports seats and the 83GT sport seats?

    Could the metal thigh/knee bolster piece be removed from the 86GT base and then that base be covered with 83GT foam and upholstery?

    If I can't use 83GT foam and upholstery, does anyone know if SMS or TMI would make 86GT seat covers in the 83GT Medium red fabric? I'm guessing a custom order would be needed for this, but was curious if anyone had done this before.

    Is there any website that sells aftermarket pieces for these seats, in particular the reclining mechanisms? I may be able to get the old ones to work, but if not I'm wondering if my only option is to look for another set of seats.

    Thanks, any help or insight is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Grand Junction, CO/RR TX


    To my knowledge the upper frame is the same between the seats. The lower is obviously different. I don't believe you can remove the lower bolster from the 86 seat as that would effectively shorten the overall seat length. I won't guarantee they are identical, but the lower seat dimensions are very similar between the two seats, with the difference being the adjustable/moveable bolster on the 84-86 seats. You might be able to just lock the bolster in place and then have a local upholstery guy add some foam to blend in the indention between the adjustable bolster and the seating surface.

    Another option that might work, would be to order the correct 83 foam and see what modifications if any would be needed to make the foam fit your current frames. Without having them side by side, I can't say, but it might not take much to make it work. Then you should be able to just order 83 seat upholstery and cover the new foam and the seats should look and be correct for your car.

    You can have SMS do custom upholstery in any material they offer and/or any material you supply them. I am not sure if the material TMI has for the 83 cars is accurate or correct, so I would recommend checking on that.

    I know TMI can make the covers for either the 83 or the 86 seats and they should fit just fine. Once you have a modified seat, there are no guarantees what will fit or how well. Also to my knowledge they don't do any custom work for seats like suggested above. Good Luck!

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  3. #3

  4. #4


    Anyone have a picture of an 83GT sport seat base frame? I could compare that with the 86GT base frame I have:

    Name:  Seat Frame.jpg
Views: 223
Size:  105.8 KB

    Like I said a bit rough, but they were cheap.

  5. #5
    FEP Super Member sowaxeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Greenwood, IN


    TMI carries the 85/86 GT Sport Seat fabric in Grey, Tan and Med/Canyon Red (for 85/86, not sure about the difference in 83/84 coloring). The product is very good quality in terms of fit and finish....I have personally seen all three shades in person, installed. However, the coloring is not exact which you will hear a lot of complaints about in here from the Concours guys that want things 100%. So, if you are one of those folks you will be disappointed in the shading. However, if your car is a driver, and your interior does not need to be 100% concourse....then IMO the TMI seat fabric is a great option. They look MANY times better than any set of torn and tattered 100k+ miles seats.
    Jason Smith
    MCA #65481

    '82 GT Med. Red - 15k Mile Orig. Survivor (Foxtoberfest 2018 Best Original 79-86)
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    '05 S-281 Mineral Grey - 16k miles @ counting.

  6. #6
    FEP Super Member 79mustangcobra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Greenville, SC


    Quote Originally Posted by Joergermeister View Post
    Anyone have a picture of an 83GT sport seat base frame? I could compare that with the 86GT base frame I have:

    Name:  Seat Frame.jpg
Views: 223
Size:  105.8 KB

    Like I said a bit rough, but they were cheap.
    Just on the frames. I would soak those in Evaporust and repaint them. It will make a world of difference.

    Take care
    1979 Mustang Cobra 5.0
    2P Red and 1C Black

    Stock never goes out of style
    MCA #70281 - 79-93 MCA Concours Judge
    Proverbs 3:5-6

    My Mustang Story

  7. #7

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