Jim Smart
July 1, 2001

Step By Step

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Remove the anodized-aluminum trim screws first, then remove the trim.
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To remove the seatback, pull the cotter pin at the pivot, then slide the seatback outward. Place the seatback aside.
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To remove the seat tracks, remove the springs first to prevent injury. With bench seats, there are just two tracks—one on each end. Four machine screws retain the tracks.
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Next, remove the phenolic seatback stop as shown.
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The center armrest is retained with two Phillips head machine screws as shown. Remove the screws and lift out the armrest.
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Remove the hog rings around the perimeter like this. A healthy set of diagonal cutting pliers will get the job done.
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Peel the upholstery outward as shown...
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...then work along the inside seams to remove the remaining hog rings.
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We’re going to bolster up the posteriors with 3M Super Trim Adhesive and foam as shown. Because no seat buns are available for bench-seat Mustangs, we have to do it this way. Don’t overdo the foam.
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On the side bolsters, don’t run the foam padding any further than what you see here. Any further, and your seat pivot will wear the upholstery through.
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Coat-hanger wire is an excellent substitute for the original wire listing. Slip it into the sleeves as shown.
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Begin upholstery installation from the inside out. Start here by anchoring the listing with hog rings.
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Pull the upholstery tight toward the outboard side and walk it over the foam. When it won’t budge, spray silicone over the foam for lubrication. Pull it and work it until the wrinkles are gone. Use a heat gun as necessary, but keep the gun a safe distance from the vinyl. Too close, and it melts and tears.
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Pull the vinyl tight...
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...then hog-ring the ends as shown. Before you hog-ring, check the surface for wrinkles and other irregularities.
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Attachment spikes at the center anchor the vinyl mid-seat.
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Pull the vinyl underneath and anchor it to the spikes. Watch your fingers!
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Feel along the seat bottom for the track attachment holes, trim carefully, and install the tracks.
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Did you remember to clean and lubricate the tracks? Use white grease for smooth operation.
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Getting bucket-seat tracks to work properly is challenging enough. Bench-seat tracks will challenge your patience. Adjust the cable by working the turnbuckle. Make sure both seat tracks are in sync (either all the way back or forward), then adjust the turnbuckle. Check for smooth operation.
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Install the springs.
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Spray silicone over the armrest foam, then walk the vinyl on as shown. This can be very frustrating.
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Fold the armrest vinyl as shown, then staple it into place.
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Install the stainless trim.
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Trim the pivot and detent points carefully.
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Slip the armrest detent rollers into place...
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...then reinstall the armrest and trim.
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Find the screw holes for the phenolic seatback stops...
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...then install.
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Pop the seatback cover off with a large-blade screwdriver or special tool shown.
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Remove the hog rings with diagonal cutting pliers just like we did with the seat bottoms.
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Peel the upholstery off around the perimeter and remove the hog rings around the inside. Toss the old vinyl.
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After you’ve installed the new listing wire, hog-ring the upholstery from the inside out.
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Roll the corners over, using silicone spray as needed for lubrication. Hog-ring the vinyl to the seat frame in back. Roll the ends for durability.
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Carefully install the seatback covers. Sometimes the clips can be stubborn. Gently hammer the back with your fist.
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Reinstall the seatbacks. Don’t forget the cotter pins. Reinstall all of the trim.
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Our bench seat is ready for reinstallation for the first time in 16 years!

In this installment of our interior rebop series, we’re going to reupholster seats with goodies from Mustangs Plus.

We’re going to show you something not seen very often: Mustang bench-seat reupholstery. TMI and Mustangs Plus bring you exceptional-quality seat-upholstery kits that make doing it yourself easier than you think. We like TMI upholstery for its solid-color vinyl piping, heavy-duty listing sleeves, and super-tough vinyl. These features make it long-lasting and durable.

Do-it-yourself upholstery doesn’t mandate unaffordable special tools. Visit your favorite hardware store and pick up a set of hog-ring pliers, steel hog rings (not copper ones), silicone spray (for lubrication while pulling stubborn upholstery over foam), and a heat gun (a hair dryer will work fine).

We suggest laying your upholstery in the sun for a warm-up prior to installation. Cold upholstery doesn’t stretch well and, in fact, it will tear. So warm it up first, and be patient while you’re working. Force it, and you’ll tear it. Take your time and strive for excellence.