SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150)

Posted 12/17/2013 by Jeff Jimenez

Got worn SVT Lightning Upholstery? Don’t let your F-150’s seats suffer! Check out our upholstery kit installation for second generation (Gen 2) Lightning trucks! Installation can be done in your garage with simple hand tools. Best of all it can bring your SVT’s interior back to life!!!

FOLLOW: ford lightning , 99 04 lightning , interior , upholstery , installation , tech

The second generation SVT Lightning featured an extremely sporty interior with its aggressively bolstered seats. These seats featured a unique suede and leather upholstery that made it distinctively a SVT performance vehicle. The problem with this interior is the fact that suede requires more “upkeep” compared to its vinyl or leather counterpart. Too often these performance trucks have worn, faded, stained or torn upholstery. Thanks to LatemodelRestoration.com you do not have live with these eyesores and you will not have to run to an upholstery shop to have your seats refinished. We carry new Lightning upholstery kits available in the grey suede with black leather insert or an all-black combination.

I recently picked up a high mileage 2000 SVT Lightning. One of the biggest eyesores on this truck was the ugly worn upholstery. The truck had been used as a work truck in its previous life and this left the suede heavily worn. To go along with the worn suede, the seats also featured plenty of stains, tears and crappy patch jobs. That is why I turned to the LatemodelRestoration.com Lightning Seat Upholstery kits. I decided to go back with the factory style upholstery to stay true to the factory looks. I was a little apprehensive about the installation at first; being that I had never done any upholstery work in my life. After starting the install, I quickly realized that the hardest part about the whole installation process was the amount of time it would take to complete. Be sure to set aside a whole day to complete the installation.

Below you can read the step-by-step instructions on how to replace your SVT Lightning upholstery!

SVT Lightning Upholstery Kits:

  1. 99-04 Lightning Upholstery Kit Silver/Black
  2. 99-04 Lightning Upholstery Kit Black/Black

SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150)

Tools Needed:
  • T-55 Torx Bit
  • Ratchet with 18mm, 13mm and 10mm sockets
  • Philips Style Screwdriver
  • Hog Rings and Pliers
  • Heavy Duty Scissors or Wire Cutter (to cut factory hog rings)

SVT Lightning Seat Removal

  1. Start by removing the driver’s seat.
  2. There are two T-55 torx bit bolts holding the seat down on the front – remove them
  3. Use the controls to move the seat all the way forward and lean the seat back forward
  4. Remove the two rear seat frame t-55 torx bolts
  5. Reach under the seat and disconnect the seat belt electronics and seat track motor connections
  6. You can now remove the driver’s seat
  7. Be sure to put the seat mounting bolts back in their correct location to avoid losing them
  8. You can now start removing the passenger seat
  9. Remove the front two t-55 torx bit mounting bolts
  10. Slide the seat forward and tilt the seat forward
  11. You can now access the rear two mounting bolts – Remove them
  12. Remove the seat
  13. Put the mounting bolts back in their original location

SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Seat Removal SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Seat Removal SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Seat Removal SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Seat Removal

SVT Lightning Upholstery Removal

  1. I started on the driver’s seat by removing the seat back first
  2. Pry the lower plastic retainers apart and unzip the back zipper
  3. Pry loose the two inner plastic retainers from the seat frame
  4. Now you can start removing the seat back upholstery – you will stop at the first set of hog rings
  5. Cut the hog rings and gently start pulling the upholstery back again – you will run into more hog rings & Velcro
  6. Apply some pressure to the Velcro on the seat foam to avoid having it pull off the seat foam
  7. Continue to cut the hog rings as you run into them until you remove the seat back upholstery
  8. You can now repeat this process on the passenger seat back
  9. Moving back to the Drivers Seat – You need to remove the Seat back from the lower seat
  10. I started by removing the seat controls and cover
  11. Pry off the lumbar knob, unscrew all the retaining screws and remove the seat back lever
  12. Unscrew the seat control module
  13. You can now remove the side plastic cover
  14. Next remove the seat belt buckle from the seat frame with an 18mm socket and pry off the electrical connector located under the seat frame
  15. Disconnect the lumbar adjustment cable – pull upward and to the side.
  16. Now remove the two 13mm seat bracket bolts on the side of the seat
  17. You can now pry seat back off the lower seat frame
  18. This process is the same of the passenger side minus the electronic seat controls and lumbar adjustment
  19. Now you can flip over the lower seat assembly and pry off the four plastic retainers holding the upholstery on the driver seat.
  20. As you pull the upholstery off you will find more hog rings to cut
  21. Once they are cut you can remove the upholstery
  22. I found the passenger side the same process applied; however, I had to remove the lower seat frame with 10mm socket to get the upholstery off.
  23. Now you can remove the center console bracket covers by removing the retaining screws and push pins
  24. Disconnect the console brackets by unbolting the four 13mm bolts that hold it to the lower seat frame

SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Removal SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Removal SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Removal SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Removal SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Removal SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Removal SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Removal SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Removal

Lightning Seat Upholstery Install

Installing your new seat upholstery is simple yet time consuming. The installation process is the reverse of the removal process. For the seat bottoms you will need to remove the seat tracks for better access to the seat frame. They are held on by 10mm bolts. I did not precut holes of lumbar adjustments, or brackets. You will have to muscle and stretch the new upholstery over seat frames and foam. I left the bolts/screw in place so that it is easy to find their location under the new upholstery once it is installed. The seat backs are a slow process of slowly working your way down from the top. I turned the new upholstery inside-out and worked my way down while hog ringing along the way. Be sure to firmly press the Velcro into place along the top.

SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Installation - Seat Track SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Installation SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Installation SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Installation SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Installation

Lightning Center Console Upholstery Removal & Installation

It looks hard than it seems. The removal and installation process is super easy. Probably the easiest part of the whole install (glad I saved it for the end – my fingers and hands were getting numb). Remove the metal side brackets from the center console armrest. You will need a T-45 Torx bit and ½” socket. With these removed you can now open up the center console and remove the Philips style hinge screws. They are small so you might want to keep a bag or cup handy for storage. Once you have removed the hinge from the lower and upper piece you can now remove the cup holder. You will need a thin flat blade screwdriver to push and pry on the tabs. BE CAREFUL! The tabs can become brittle and break easily. To release the rear tabs you need to located them and push toward the front while pulling upward. For the front tabs push them toward the rear while pulling upward.

SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Center Console SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Center Console SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Center Console SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Center Console SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Center Console SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Center Console

Once the cup holder is removed you now need to remove the upholstery locking ring. Take your thin flat-blade screwdriver and pry on the inside toward the outside. You will hear an audible “click” when it disengages (see pictures below). Work your way around the ring. When the ring is off you can now pull off your old upholstery and repeat on the upper arm rest. Installation requires you to pull and stretch the upholstery into place. As you pull it into place you will need to “tuck” it into the armrest just like the factory upholstery was. Use the screw driver to push it into place. I found it was easiest to tuck in the stitched seams first as they stayed in place easier. Continue to work your way around the armrest while stretching and tucking it into place. Once you have it all in, reinstall the plastic retaining ring and reassemble the console armrest.

SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Center Console SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Center Console SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Center Console SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Center Console SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Center Console

There you go! You have now successfully replaced your SVT Lightning’s Upholstery. You are on your way to fully restoring your performance truck to it is showroom appearance! Be sure to leave comments below and post up some pictures of your Lightning’s interior!!! You can also see more before and after pictures below!


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SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) Tech Info

Ford SVT Lightning - 1999 (99) - 2000 (00) - 2001 (01) - 2002 (02) - 2003 (03) - 2004 (04)

Before & After Pictures

Before

SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Before SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Before SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Before SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Before SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - Lightning Upholstery Install - Before

After:

SVT Lightning Upholstery Installation (99-04 F-150) - F-150 SVT Lightning Upholstery Kit