Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
December 1, 2012
If you’re lucky to find seats that match your interior, you can drop them in unmodified. But if you want to color match your late-model Mustang seats, or perhaps you’re looking for something custom like the Sport R kit we used in Mach 1 material with a silver “carbon fiber” seat stripe, TMI Products can help make your Mustang interior stand out.

There’s no denying that none of us are getting any younger. Like many of you, taking a drive of more than an hour or so in a vintage Mustang with the stock low-back seats means climbing out at the culmination of said trip with inevitable back pain. But even on shorter drives, the original seats leave much behind in the way of support, safety, and some may say even looks. There are plenty of options on the market for performance seating, but they often come with a hefty price tag or require custom upholstery to match the rest of the interior. However, many owners have discovered a solution—swapping in modern Mustang seats.

Why has the late-model Mustang seat swap been gaining momentum? The easy answers are the seats are relatively cheap, they offer more comfort and safety, and they bolt right in using the vintage seat tracks with minor modifications. Lastly, TMI Products offers great upholstery kits that mimic the ’65-’66 “Pony” or the later Mach 1 seats for a retro look, as well as matching rear seat upholstery and even door panels if you want to stretch your restomod looks further. TMI has dozens of vinyl, cloth, and leather options to help you build just the interior you’re looking for. If it’s not in their catalog, just ask; you’ll be surprised at the materials they have available.

So what makes this swap so easy? The detail lies in the fact that the vintage Mustang and the ’79-’04 Mustang share the same seat track width (though TMI states that the ’82 and up seats are what their upholstery is designed for). We’ve been told this is common to other Fords as well, but we certainly like the thought of Mustang seats in a Mustang, plus TMI only offers their upholstery kits for Mustang seats, so there you go! Bolting up the vintage seat tracks to the late-model seat bases takes a few minutes of light bench work. Most simply reuse one set of the stock mounting holes and then drill two new holes in the seat frame. We have what we feel to be a bit easier, and stronger, mounting option we’ll share in our photos. So start your hunt for some take-out ’82-’04 Mustang seats and follow our instructions to make this seat swap a quick afternoon job.

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16. One issue we ran into is that the late-model Mustang seats have different back heights, so it is essential you know what year your seats are so you can order the correct foam and upholstery. Secondly, when converting from the base seat to the later sport-style seat, the listing rods are a different length and there’s an additional listing rod horizontally across the upper seat back. You can see the differences in the foam here.

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29. TMI offers ’65-’73 door panels in their catalog with a cool two-tone option. To tie the new upholstery into the doors, we asked TMI to match the door panels in a two-tone black and silver carbon fiber look. TMI used a ’68 door panel board but utilized the ’67 style vinyl trim so that the silver insert wouldn’t “over power” the interior. We think it’s just the right amount of silver to tie in with the small silver Mach 1 style stripe in the seat.