Seat pans....coulda, woulda, shoulda - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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Seat pans....coulda, woulda, shoulda

In a sidebar conversation, it was again pointed out that at 6'2" I should lower my seat pans before I look into adding some later model version of seat. My problem is that the body work and paint has all been done on the car and in a fit of go-get-em-ism I installed a dynomat type insulation that I meticulously rolled into every crevice of the car, including the offending seat pans. So what I need, along with some magic beans, is someone who can help me figure out some way....ANY way to keep from peeling up the sound deadener and cutting into my beautiful Vintage Burgundy seat pans so that my giant head stays out of my freshly installed headliner.

Seat extenders? Lowering actual seats or adjusters some way? I've searched, but I haven't found the magic beans yet.....

Get off my back, get out of my pocket....

1965 2+2 painted (66) Vintage Burgundy, 1998 roller 5.0 with GT40P heads, plans are for Sniper, T5 and 3:55 rear.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 06:50 AM
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I was going to recommend a one piece headliner as it's supposed to give you a couple extra inches up top.... but it seems I'm too late. Honestly find the seats you want, install them and see where you "sit." Then decide if you need extra room. You might find that you need to extend the seats further back rather than lower.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:25 AM
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Been there, studied on it, made the following determinations.

The typical one piece headliner gains you about 1 1/2 inches of headroom, but if you are tall you're still crouching when first in line at intersections to see when the lights change. You are still sitting too high. Yuck.

Short of non adjustable racing buckets, the lowest/narrowest seats are of the Fiero and Porsche variety. All good there if you can find a decent set and you've got the moolah to buy and fix 'em up. Most Porsche seats have at least power backrests, so there's that to deal with.

Some get along with seat track extenders but they are not very conducive ergonomically, i.e. the pedal and steering wheel and shifter reaches may be less than optimal or even a nagging constant aggravation. YMMV.

Some cut the pans down and lower them, some cut the pans down and also move them back a few inches. That can do the trick in many cases. Bear in mind that the lower the pans are, the further the driver's seat is forced towards the door and possible interference with armrests (or depending on the seat type even being able to close the frickin' door). This is due to the slope of the center tunnel hump and its bias towards the drivers side.

Because all aspects of driver's ergonomics are important to me, seat comfort, reach to all things, good visibility, etc., I removed the seat pans entirely and welded in carefully measured and reinforced cross brackets from the inner rockers down and across as low to the floor pan as I could get them and back up the slope of the hump and over to the other side. It is important to make them strong in order to retain strength in the unibody. (I also installed sub frame connectors.) This absolutely requires seats with narrow tracks though. My choice of seat was BMW E30 Sports, and with the Ididit Tilt column and shorty hub adapter I couldn't be more happy for long distance cruising (unless maybe I had added cruise control).
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:31 AM
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Sorry, kinda outa' ideas there.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneckgearhead View Post
I was going to recommend a one piece headliner as it's supposed to give you a couple extra inches up top.... but it seems I'm too late. Honestly find the seats you want, install them and see where you "sit." Then decide if you need extra room. You might find that you need to extend the seats further back rather than lower.
I lowered the pans myself...but you cant move the pans back more than about 1/4" before the front edge is no longer sitting on the front frame rail and you damage the structural integrity of the car....the exception being if you install some type of subframe connector like Spintechs or USCTs that weld to the floor the entire way. So moving the pans back is NOT an option without those SFCs...not a realistic one anyway. Lowering them however is perfectly viable option, is easy and can be done in 4-5 hours if you can weld. I chopped 1.5" out of mine.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:58 AM
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I put in 67 Cougar seat pans, moved them back 1/2", and then moved the front mounting holes back 2", and for the back built supports 2" off the rear of the each seat riser. There are welded in nuts under each of the new holes so the seats are now put in from the top. I also put in the seat extensions for each seat frame, which adds 2" and at 6'1" and now have plenty of room as now I have an extra 4.5" to move the seat back, and plenty of head room.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 10:18 AM
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I ran into the same issue. I had the car all done, found out I needed more room.
I bought a pair of Corbeau seats with the lowered seat pan. They are pretty low, and they work great for me. I am about 6'1 or so.
The seats are also very comfortable and keep you in place.
Tim
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Man, this is some good stuff. I do not recall having any issues with the stock seats, but I'm sure they are a little sacked out and the longest trip I recall 20 years ago was a 200+ mile trip to North Myrtle Beach. First step will absolutely be to test fit whatever I find, work with my upholsterer to see if I can trim some seat pan foam down, etc. I just wish I had the forethought to do a pan mod while it was a stripped shell. It's still a shell, just a really pretty, insulated shell.
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Get off my back, get out of my pocket....

1965 2+2 painted (66) Vintage Burgundy, 1998 roller 5.0 with GT40P heads, plans are for Sniper, T5 and 3:55 rear.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHeadPeter View Post
I put in 67 Cougar seat pans, moved them back 1/2", and then moved the front mounting holes back 2", and for the back built supports 2" off the rear of the each seat riser. There are welded in nuts under each of the new holes so the seats are now put in from the top. I also put in the seat extensions for each seat frame, which adds 2" and at 6'1" and now have plenty of room as now I have an extra 4.5" to move the seat back, and plenty of head room.
I want to see this modification finished...I am debating ways to gain some more leg room without using extenders. One of my options is to physically lengthen the tracks themselves a couple inches, but I am not exactly sure the result on the track rollers and whether I would need to lengthen the roller pads themselves. My main concern with ANY method of gaining more legroom by shifting the seats back by any method is that it shifts the center of gravity of the driver and/or passenger so their weight is sitting on the floorpan area that is unsupported by the frame rail...for myself I plan on installing subframe connectors that attach to the floor the entire way...but without that extra support I would be more hesitant for a car that is driven a lot. Metal fatigue always wins in the end when it comes to sheet metal.

P.S. I HATE Dynamat and similar sound deadeners...I will never ever ever put it on one of my cars again, its also a huge red flag for me when buying a car now. Not only can you not trust moisture not to get under it(especially in colder conditions when it shrinks and pulls away from the metal) it makes working on the car anytime you need to get to floors, firewall, etc a pain...weld anywhere near the stuff and it catches on fire...even with a wire wheel it doesn't like to come off without a lot of work...just not worth the headaches it causes if you actually
work on your car.




1.5" chop on the pan




With new pan installed(old riser). I made my brother sit on the seat afterward(he is 6'6") and he had 3" head clearance...without headliner installed...would probably be 1.5" or so with it in.
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Last edited by wicked93gs; 08-08-2019 at 10:46 AM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 11:04 AM
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Years and years ago I swapped SN95 seats into wife's Fox. I'm in the habit of wearing ball caps and it didn't take long to notice the top of my hat was brushing the headliner. At that point I noticed that though both seats were LX trim, the base and brackets made the entire seat taller. In years since I've noticed that most later model seats tend to be the same way, especially those with power. Most seats can't really take a height reduction so something has to give somewhere. Comparisons of what "worked for me" has to be qualified on which EXACT seat you used and how you mounted it.

So I'd say whether the pans have to be trimmed or not will be depending largely upon someone finally deciding which seat they want. Or compromising seat choice in favor of one that you can just add track extenders to for clearance.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
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Years and years ago I swapped SN95 seats into wife's Fox. I'm in the habit of wearing ball caps and it didn't take long to notice the top of my hat was brushing the headliner. At that point I noticed that though both seats were LX trim, the base and brackets made the entire seat taller. In years since I've noticed that most later model seats tend to be the same way, especially those with power. Most seats can't really take a height reduction so something has to give somewhere. Comparisons of what "worked for me" has to be qualified on which EXACT seat you used and how you mounted it.

So I'd say whether the pans have to be trimmed or not will be depending largely upon someone finally deciding which seat they want. Or compromising seat choice in favor of one that you can just add track extenders to for clearance.
Very true...we are getting ahead of ourselves. Get your seat, then make your modifications...Miata or Fiero seats are going to be lowest profile...anything powered will be tall(I have power seats in my Mazda 6 and absolutely HATE them, the seat-belt always like to catch on the incline adjustment and just makes me mad...also power seats never seem to have as much adjustment front to back as manual seats...and that's the important adjustment for me...the rest doesn't really matter
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 02:20 PM
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I'm 6'2" and needed more leg room in my 66. I made my own seat extenders to mount the seat 2" further back. Even though the seats are mounted on the 1/4" steel bar I used for the extenders, because the seat pans slope back and the roof may slightly arch up you actually gain headroom. Although everybody carries their height differently, I now have no problem with headroom.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not looking at either my seat/track OR my car right now, but would it be feasible to just cut slots where the tracks will be and weld boxed in "pans" just where you need to lower the seats, as opposed to cutting the entire pan? Caveat, this may be a really stupid question, so I'm offering myself up to ask it for the sake of others.....I realize IF this is possible, you could run into all sorts of other interference issues under the seat, with the slider lever, etc. But you see, I REALLY don't want to have to cut my pans.

Get off my back, get out of my pocket....

1965 2+2 painted (66) Vintage Burgundy, 1998 roller 5.0 with GT40P heads, plans are for Sniper, T5 and 3:55 rear.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 03:54 PM
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The easy solution for 65-66 is to use the 67 Cougar pans which are shorter and seem to fit well.

010672-200A
010673-200A

NPD part numbers.

Then use the seat rail extenders which move the seat back but raise it back up a little.


The cheaper solution is what has already been shown by others.


On the strength area I see where there can be an issue during an accident as all the forces go forward and if the seat pan is not on the front floor support it will sag. However there is no support whatsoever at the rear of the seat pan where it is needed most unless you have a vert or you have installed the vert under pan floor reinforcements or you have the subframe connectors like mentioned.

I am at that fence for mine right now. Do I

1) shorten the factory pans and reinstall and possibly move them back.

2) buy the cougar pans

3) either of the above in conjuncion with vert under floor pan reinforcements

4) again with vert under pan reinforcements but modified around the subframe connectors


My favorite idea is option 2 with option 4. The most expensive and the most work but the strongest floor structure in the end.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I do have welded in subs, so I guess I have that to work with at least.

Get off my back, get out of my pocket....

1965 2+2 painted (66) Vintage Burgundy, 1998 roller 5.0 with GT40P heads, plans are for Sniper, T5 and 3:55 rear.
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