Fox Mustang 03-04 Cobra Upholstery Install

Posted 5/20/2013 by Jonathan McDonald

Fox Mustang upholstery install video for TMI's 03-04 Cobra Style Seat kit. Includes seat foam and upholstery for a truly modern look! ...

FOLLOW: mustang , 79 93 mustang , fox body , video , installation , tmi , interior , upholstery

Everybody needs a good support system. This is especially true when it comes to seating in your Mustang! Unfortunately the stock Mustang Seats are known to let you down. Until now, the only option was to replace the stock seats with an aftermarket style, such as Corbeau Mustang Seats. While this definitely isn't a problem, some of us desire to keep more of an OE Mustang appearance. Kind of a have your cake and eat it too situation. Luckily TMI Products had the forethought to take newer OE Mustang styling and adapt it to previous platforms, like the Fox Mustang. That brainchild developed in to the 2003-2004 Cobra Style Mustang Upholstery for Fox Mustang!

The Fox Mustang 03-04 Cobra Style Upholstery Kit includes new front seat upholstery and rear seat upholstery, along with new front seat foam. The Mustang Front Seat Foam allows you to retain your factory Mustang seat frame while improving look and feel. The foam is higher durometer (firmer) than stock and features much more aggressive bolstering. Both of those attributes combined gives you the added support you need for performance driving!

Before you get started, make sure you have a few specialty tools and accessories present. First and foremost you need a set of hog ring pliers and a whole fistfull of hog rings. A can of spray adhesive will come in to play for the 1984-1991 Mustang knee bolster. Grab a heavy duty staple gun that will handle either a 1/2" or 3/8" crown staple that is no more than 1/4" in length. Get the staples too! Have several lightwieght/thin trash bags on hand; you'll thank me for this later. A shrp razor knife will come in handy too, as well as a push pin removal tool. Finally, grab a set of common hand tools that includes a basic assortment of wrenches, ratchets, sockets, hammers, screwdrivers, and pliers.

With any installation, it begins with removal. For this Mustang project it will be a multi-part process; starting with getting the seats out of your Mustang. Beginning with the drivers side front seat, pull off the seat track foot covers, there are four (if they are still present). Slide the seat rearward and remove the two 15mm seat track retaining nuts. Slide the seat forward, tilt the seat back forward, and remove the two 15mm headed seat track retaining bolts. Tilt the seat upward and unplug the power lumbar and power seat track, if equipped. Remove the seat from the car and repeat for the other side. To remove the rear seats from a 1984-1993 Mustang Hatchback, start by applying pressure to the forward edge of the seat bottom (pushing toward the rear of the car) and lift at the same time. This will free the lower seat cushion from the car. Then, lower the rear seat backs and fold up the outer corners of the carpet to gain access to, and remove, the three 13mm headed hinge bolts per seat back. Lift the hinge out of the way, angle the seat backrest forward, and slide it off the center pivot. Do this for the other side as well. If you have a 1979-1993 Mustang Coupe, the seat back is held in at the bottom by two tabs and two retaining screws. Remove the screws and lift the seatback up and free of the car. 1983-1993 Mustang Convertible owners will pull forward on the lower part of the seat back cushion and push down on the top to release the rear seat back.

With the front seats laying on their backs, release the return spring, and remove the four 10mm bolts that retain the Mustang Seat Tracks to the seat bottom. Grab your #2 phillips head screw driver and remove the two screws that hold on the seat hinge recline lever cover. With a 3/8" ratchet and 13mm socket, pull out the two bolts that hold the recline side of the hinge to the seat base. Put a T45 Torx socket on your 3/8" ratchet and remove the inside hinge pivot bolt. Unplug the power lumbar air feed line (if equipped) and separate the seat bottom from the seat backrest. Grab the seat bottom and a 5/64" allen wrench and loosen the side bolster adjusting knob set screw and slide the knob off the shaft. With a small flat blade screwdriver, pop off the power lumbar switch face plate. The take out the two phillips head screws that hold the switch bezel to the seat bottom. Free the lumbar switch electrical connector from the seat frame and pull the switch assembly away from the seat base. Use the small flat blade screwdriver to release the switch retaining tabs an pull the trim bezel free from the switch. Tuck the switch back in to the seat base. On 1984-1991 Mustangs with the pull out knee bolster, grab a small hammer or a pair of channel locks and pull out the two roll pins at the back of the knee bolster slides and pull the knee bolster free from the seat. Unclip the four plastic upholstery retainers and cut the hog rings holding down the two pieces of listing. Roll the rear of the seat upholstery up over the foam; be careful not to break the lumbar air supply tube. Grab the razor knife and split the front of the seat upholstery along the bolster about four to five inches. Roll the front flap of upholstery up over the foam and carefully remove the two heavy metal clips that hold the retaining rods to the frame. Save these clips as you can re-use them later to reinstall. Slide the rods out of the upholstery and clip the remaining six hog rings from the seat bottom upholstery. Remove the listing wires from the upholstery (set the rods aside as you will reuse them) and toss the old upholstery in the trash. From the sides of the seat foam, you can access and cut the hog rings that hold the foam to the seat frame. Pull the old foam off and toss it in the trash. To disassemble the seat bolster on 1984-1991 Mustang, slide off the rear plastic trim, remove the four 8mm headed retaining bolts, set the metal frame to the side and chunk the old bolster. Repeat these steps for the other front seat.

Grab your front seat back and lay it face down, then remove the single phillips screw that holds on the seat back lever. Pry off the seat back release knob after that. Unzip the bottom of the upholstery, cut the hog rings that retain the upholstery rods, and pull the rods free from the seat back. using the razor knife make a slit up each side of the vinyl on the seat back. Do not cut straight up the middle as you will damage the lumbar bladder! Separate the lower portion of the foam from the Mustang seat back frame to gain access to the headrest. Use a flat blade screwdriver to release the retaining tab and slide the headrest along with the plastic guide sleeve from the seat. Roll the upholstery up to the first listing rod and release it from the foam. Raoll the upholstery all the way to the top and clip the three hog rings. Set aside the two listing rods for reuse, pull the foam off the frame, and trash the old foam and upholstery. To unwrap the headrest, unclip the plastic tabs (1987-1989) or pull the two tacks and cardboard trim and pull the staples, then simply pop the foam out of the cover.

On to the rear seat back rests! With it laying face down, remove the single phillips screw that holds on the latch handle. Then, pull off the three phillips screws that hold on the latch trim bezel. Remove the two 13mm bolts that hold on the center latch pivot. With your push pin removal tool, release the nineteen push pins around the perimeter of the upholstery. Roll up the edges of the upholstery and cut the six hog rings retaining the upholstery to the foam. There are two on the top, two on the right, and two on the left. Before trashing the old Mustang upholstery, pull out the listing rods as you will need them later. This is a great time to replace your Mustang Hatch Carpet!!

This is probably the easiest part of any Fox Mustang Seat Upholstery Install - the rear seat bottom. The upholstery is held on the the foam seat bun with a whole bunch of hog rings all around the perimeter. Cut all those loose and the cover comes right off the foam. Now, you're ready to begin installing the new upholstery! With the rear lower seat bun in front of you, grab your new rear lower seat upholstery. Along the base of the foam, there is a metal frame with oval holes all around it. Those are the areas you want to place a hog ring. There are a lot of them! Starting on the back side of the seat in the middle, start crimping down hog rings. work to one side, then start back at the middle and work to the other. Move to the front side and again start in the middle, work to one side, then work to the other. Be sure to tug and pull to keep the upholstery tight as you go. Finally, pull the sides tight and hog ring them down.

Grab the rear seat back upholstery and use a pair of scissors to open up the ends of the listing loops. Install the three listing rods in the listing loops. Starting with the top listing, use two hogrings to attach it to the rod in the foam. Do the same for both sides. If your retaining push pins broke when pulling the old upholstery off, we have you covered with our 50Resto Rear Seat Back Upholstery Push Pins. Take 19 push pins and insert them in each one of the slots on the perimeter of the rear seat back upholstery. Once again, this is a great time to install a new Hatch Area Carpet Set! Roll the lip of the upholstery under and engage the push pins in the seat back. Reinstall the latch (if removed) and the center hinge pivot. Repeat for the other side.

To assemble the knee bolster for the front seat bottom, spray the foam with spray adhesive and do the same for the new plastic backing. Let the glue tack, and then stick the two pieces together and let dry. Slide the bolster foam and backing in to one of the plastic bags and slide it in the upholstery cover. Trim the plastic bag, fold over the two sides of the upholstery cover, and staple them down. Do the same to the top and bottom. Align the holes in the bolster to the metal backing, slide the plastic trim over the metal backing, and secure them together using the new bolts provided by TMI.

Take the front seat bottom foam and trim the marked area if your Mustang is equipped with power lumbar support. Lay it on the seat bottom frame and trim a hole for the side bolster adjustment knob. Cut open the edges of the upholstery listing loops and install the front and rear listing rods in the loops. Use three hog rings to attach the rear listing rod to the foam and use the three hog rings in the front listing rod to attach it to the frame. Insert the two large diameter listing rods in each side, being sure the rear of the rods engage in the retaining loops molded in the foam. Retain the front L shaped section of the rods to the frame either reusing the original heavy duty metal clips or a couple of hog rings per rod. Roll the upholstery down over the side bolsters; this will require a bit of effort, pulling, and tugging to get it smooth. Open up a hole in the foam, and then in the upholstery, for the lumbar support air tube to pass through. Finish rolling the upholstery over the sides of the foam and frame and engage the four plastic retaining clips on to the base of the frame. Trim a rectangle in the upholstery around the lumbar switch, and reinstall the switch bezel. Trim a hole for the side bolster adjusting knob and reinstall the knob. Go ahead and cut openings for the seat back hinge bolts to pass through. The pass-through slots for the knee bolster are already cut in the upholstery. Slide the knee bolster in to place and reinstall the retaining roll pins.

Luckily, here is another easy part! Slide the headrest foam assembly in to a trash bag, trim the trash bag, and slide it into the upholstery headrest cover. Fasten the plastic retaining clips.

Slide the front seat back foam bun over the metal seat back frame. Slide a plastic bag over the foam bun and frame assembly. Turn the seat back upholstery cover inside out and cut open the ends of the listing loops. Run the top listing rod in to the listing loop. Slide the top part of the upholstery over the foam and use three hog rings to secure the top listing loop to the seat foam. Roll the upholstery down to the next listing loop and install the middle listing rod. Engage the corners in the foam. No hogrings are used here because that rod is held in place by the two vertical rods. Continue rolling the upholstery down over the bolsters until it is fully unrolled. This will take a good bit of pulling and tugging effort. Insert the two large diameter vertical listing rods in their respective listing loops. Push down on the rod as it reaches the top of the foam to ensure it engages the retaining loop in the foam. Use two hog rings per side to lock the vertical listing rods in place. Lock together the plastic j-clips at the bottom of the front seat back foam. Install the backrest on to the seat base. Trim a slot for the headrest in the top of the seat backrest. Cut a slit for the seat back release and re-install the Mustang Seat Back Release Bezel and Knob. Slide the head rest in to place. Re-install the seat tracks and put your seats back in your Mustang!

Enjoy your new Mustang seat Upholstery and the joy of having done the install yourself.