So you are finally tired of the "gangster lean" to the point where you are willing to tear the whole seat apart to fix it. This guide is in a step by step fashion that will show you how to fix your crooked seat without damaging the upholstry.
This guide was done with a 1986 Mustang GT seat. I am not aware of what the differences are between these and the 87 to 93 seats. If you have information please email.
Expect to take atleast 4 hours to complete the repair.
You must remove the seat from the car.
Fixing the seat frame requires a welder, if you do not have access to a welder you will have to find a local shop willing to do about 10 seconds worth of welding.
Finally, this fix takes alot of patience. If you do not take your time will will almost certainly ruin the seat upholstry or the 20 year old foam within.
1. Take the seat out of the car. I recommend setting the seat on a old blanket so the upholstry is not damaged if it is slid on the concrete.
2. Put the seat back in the forward position (as if someone were entering the back seat of the car) and find the zipper along the bottom seam. Unzip it carefully. Now move the seat covering up just enough to expose the plastic piece on the lever side of the seat. You may have to remove a fabric clip that wraps around the bottom of the seat back and clips to the back (mine was broken and simply fell off; below is what it looks like).
3. Remove the outer spring cover first, then there are two phillips screws holding this plastic peice on that must be removed.
4. Now remove the two bolts holding the seat back to the base. Also remove the single bolt on the opposite side so you can seperate the back from the base.
5. Now that the seat back is off you can peel back the seat cover a little bit more to reveal two metal rods being held to the foam with eyelets.
6. Carefully get the metal rods out of the eyelets and slowly pull them out of the seat.
7. You can now peel the seat cover upholstry almost all the way up the seat. Once you get it about 80% off you can stop (it will most likely be stuck at this point due to another metal rod holding it to the foam padding). You now have to put your hand between the foam and the seat frame to unclip the headrest. I used two screw drivers to hold the clip out of the way so the headrest could be slid out.
8. Once the headrest is pulled out the seat padding and cover and be seperated from the seat frame. You can now see what has caused the seat to bend into the gangster lean form.
9. Now that you have the frame out you need to get it straight again. The metal is thin and can easily be bent back by hand. Lay the frame face down on a level concrete floor to see how bent it is.
10. Now have a friend stand on the frame at the base end and use your hands or a bar to twist the upper part of the seat.
11. Now let it rest on the floow again and see how straight it is. You may have to repeat step 10 several times before it is flat again. Note how the image below has much less gap on the right side than in step 9.
12. Now that it is squared up again, you need to clamp the cross brace that originally failed so it can be welded. Be sure to remove the paint around the area that is going to be welded.
13. Now weld the brace to the seat frame. I also recommend you add some weld to the other side as a preventive measure. After it has cooled, put spray some paint on the welds.
14. At this point I would double check that the seat is still straight. It may need to be tweaked again after welding it.
15. You can now reassemble the seat. Put the foam and upholstry mess back onto the seat frame and insert the headrest. Then slowly roll the uphostry back down the seat back.
16. Be sure that the seat cover cross bar halfway down the seat gets put back into the grove in the foam. The two vertical rods hold this up against the foam when you put them back in.
17. Carefully put the two rods back in but do not put the ends back into the eyelets just yet.
18. Now bolt the seat back onto the base.
19. Then screw both of the plastic covers back into place and pull the upholstry all the way down.
20. Now is the time to hook the two rods back into place.
21. Finally, carefully zip up the zipper and you are finished once you reinstall the seat.
I had to fix this. After driving my car for the last few years I got tired of having a crooked seat. I didn't really notice it until I sat in the passenger seat and realized how much more comfortable it was. Not to mention it looks much better from outside with both seats are square. I wrote this walk through because I couldn't find any information on how to do it; and I know alot of mustangs suffer from the "gangster lean." I hope this was helpful, please email me if you have any recommendations.
None. I have found no other guides like this.