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As some of you may have recently seen in the "What'd you do today" thread, I bought some Recaro seats and put on factory leather skins. I'm actually kind of surprised that @fletchffletch hasn't already hit me up about doing a how to. :wink:

With that in mind, I took some pictures as I went through the process on the drivers side seat and thought I might post a "how to" on here. In doing my research, I found that there is only a few minor differences in how to reupholster a Recaro compared to a base seat. The only differences that I found are the base seats have four hog rings in the center of the seat bottom and four hog rings in the center of the seat back. This is just to hold the upholstery to the seat frame. The next difference is the power features. The only part this will affect is when removing the side plastic seat trim. You will need to unplug the electrical connections and remove the control knobs. The knobs are just pried off so not a big deal. If you are working on the base seats you can probably follow along and still get a decent idea of what is involved. Finally there are none of the infuriating plastic harness bezels on the base seats!

Please forgive the poor picture quality in advance. All pictures were taken with my phone as I don't have a good camera. Well, here goes my first how to attempt. :grin:

Here are the only tools that I needed to complete this job. Edit: I realized it might be nice to say what they are.

3/8" ratchet with small extension
3/8" drive 15mm socket
Trim tools
Needle nose pliers
Philips head screw driver
Flat blade screw drivers
T20 Torx bit
Curved pick
Small flashlight (this was just about the most valuable tool needed)



First I started with the hard part. I took out the plastic harness bezels. You will need some trim tools and small screw drivers to be able to release the retaining clips. There are two clips on the top and two on the bottom. This is how I got to the clips.


Here is a close up picture of the clip that needs to be released. I used the screw drivers to hold the clips up so they wouldn't reattach when I was moving the bezel.


With those clips taken care of I moved to the front of the bezel and used another trim tool to slide under the bezel.With the tool I pushed the bottom bezel up, in turn releasing the lower clips. At the same time I pulled the front part away from the back and was able to separate the two halves.


Once separated I was able to remove the front half of the bezel. The back half still need a little prodding to get out.The back half is secured to the seat frame with pointed tabs on each side. I used the needle nose pliers to release tabs and push the bezel out the back of the seat. Here is a close up of the two halves out of the seat. You can see the retaining clips on the top and the pointed tabs on each side.


Next I moved to the seat latch on the upper back part of the seat. It is secured with a clip inside the knob. I used the trim tool to pull it off.


With the knob removed you will see the T20 torx screw that will need to be removed to remove the trim piece.

Now it was time to move on to the seat side trim. I flipped the seat on its side to have access to both adjustment handles. I started with the seat back handle first. It's held on with a spring clip under the trim piece. I used a small curved pick to pull the clip out. CAUTION!!!!! This clip will spring out and enter other realms of reality never to be seen again! Luckily I was able to find mine. For the second seat I used the pick and braced the back side with a flat blade screw driver. This prevented the clip from flying away. Here is a picture of the clip in question right before I removed it.


With the clip safely removed I used the trusty trim tool to pry the handle off.


Here is a picture of the handle and clip removed from the seat.
 

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With the seat back adjustment handle removed I took off the seat height adjustment handle. The large cap is pried off with a small screw driver. There is a slot in the handle to slide the screw driver in and twist it to pop the cap off.


With the cap off, two T20 torx screws are visible. Removed them and pull the handle straight up and off.


Now that both handles are off you can use a phillips head screw driver and remove the small screw at the back of the trim piece.


The trim is held on by a plastic "Christmas tree" fastener, a small metal clip attached to the seat frame, and two plastic tabs (one near the front and one in the center of the trim) that are in the lower seat frame with metal retainers. These will all pull free with a couple good tugs on the trim. Just be careful to keep even pressure as you pull so you don't break the trim. Here is a picture of the center tab. The screw driver is pointing at it.
[

Here is a picture of the "Christmas tree" fastener and the trim after I removed them.


Trim piece.


With the trim out of the way you will see a small black plug that hold the upholstery to the seat frame. Just remove it with a trim tool.


You will also see the black plastic clips that hold the upholstery tight to the seat frame. Just unclip these from the wire frame. There is a matching set of these on the other side as well.


The next two pictures show where Ford tucked the upholstery between the seat frame and seat foam. It's not secured, just tucked in out of the way.


After pulling it from between the frame and foam.


To be able to separate the back from the base, there are two 15mm bolts on each side of the frame. Removed them and also remove the side airbag wiring from under the seat base.

Seat bolts.


Airbag wiring. The wiring is held on to the seat frame in a couple spots with plastic retainers. They just pull out.

 

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Now that I had the seat in two parts, I started to do the final removal of the cloth cover. I started with the bottom first. As I said before there are clips that secure the cover on both sides of the seat bottom. There is also one in the front and one at the back. I just pulled these down and away from the frame to release them.

Front.


Back.


Once all the sides are free of the frame just pull the cover off by hand. It is only held in place by velcro strips.


Now I took the factory leather cover and flipped the sides inside out.


With the cover inside out, it allowed me to set the center down first and align the velcro on the foam and cover together. It also made it easier to push the cover down into the velco channel and secure it. Once the center was down and fully secured, I rolled the sides up and over the foam side bolsters. I then reattached the plastic clips to the seat frame on all four sides. Not sure what happened to the seat foam. The seat foam in both seats looked like a purple pen exploded on them. :surprise: Someone must have been having fun at the Ford factory that day.


When I was done attaching the clips it looked like this.
 

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The seat bottom is now done so on to the seat back. After removing the harness bezels, you can see how the seat cover is held in place by plastic hooks. When I removed the covers I made sure and didn't tear the covers on the hooks. I plan to sell the cloth so no sense it mucking it up.


I flipped the seat back over so I would have access to the back panel. Where the wiring for the side airbag comes out there is a metal tab. A loop of fabric goes around this tab to help secure the cover. It just easily slips off the tab.


There is an identical metal tab on the other side of the seat. This side has a larger piece of fabric that hooks onto it with a pocket in the cover. Also, there is a small piece of fabric that velcros to the top of the first piece. You can see them in these next pictures.

Top piece.


Larger piece with pocket for bracket.


Just above these metal tabs there is a small clip on each side. I found it easiest to slide these clips away from the center of the back. Once they are slid far enough out they will release.


With both of the small side clips released you can start on the large in between them. It might take a little bit of pulling to get enough slack in the material, but it will release. Start on one end and pull down and out at the same time. When it starts to come apart the rest will just pop loose.


With the center clip released you can reach underneath the cover and pull the clips apart that run on each side up the back of the seat. Once you have the seat back "wings" released you will then be able to pull up on the clip that is attached to the seat frame. It's the long black strip on the bottom of this picture.


With all the slack in the seat cover you can work the cover up and off of the foam cushion. When you get to the top, don't forget to unhook the material so you don't tear it. Like the seat bottom, it is held in with velcro strips so it's just a matter of gently pulling the cover off.
 

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With the old cover off, it's the home stretch now. I did the same thing with the cover for the seat back as I did the seat bottom. I turned it inside out.


With it turned inside out I was able to roll the new cover down over the seat foam. I tugged, stretched, and aligned it with the seat foam as I rolled it down. Go slow. Be gentle with the cover, you don't want to tear it, and smooth the wrinkles out as you go. Push the velcro down into its channel and make sure it's seated all the way. If it's not properly seated it will cause the cover to be loose and it won't look right at all. On thing I learned to make sure it was properly seated was to do a karate chop of sorts on it. It allowed me to get the velco seated all the way down in the channel.

Now that everything is aligned, seated, and wrinkle free it's time to snap the clips back together on the seat back.I started with the long bottom piece and hooked it to the frame first. From there I clipped the "wings" together. Lastly I hooked the small clips on either side to tie it all back together.

To get the plastic bezels back in is super simple. Just align them with the holes in the seat and push them together. They will click when they are fully inserted and will no longer have a gap between them. With all the clips hooked back together the seat back looked like this.


Once both top and bottom are recovered it's just a matter of bolting the two halves together. Remember to reattach the side airbag wiring to the seat frame. After the seat is bolted back together align the hole on each side of the covers and re-insert the black push pin. Pull the material flaps over the metal tabs at the back of the seat to secure it. Push the side trim back into its metal retainers and reattach the adjustment handles on the side. Place the plastic trim on the upper part of the seat back and screw it back down. Then push the knob on until it clicks and locks back into place.

One more tidbit I will add about the seat back adjustment handle on the side of the seat. DO NOT try to put the clip back in after the handle is already attached. It will only frustrate you beyond belief and make the clip disappear. The easy way is to fully seat the clip into the handle. Then push the handle on until it fully seats. The mechanism the handle goes on is tapered to allow the spring to slide into place. Just push it on and your done. No hunting for a lost spring.

I would like to also add that when removing/installing your seats you need to disable the SRS system so you don't have an accidental airbag deployment. Pull the fuse for the SRS system in the fuse panel then disconnect the negative battery cable. Wait at least 10 minutes before you unplug or plug in the wiring for your seats. I've read that this procedure might also help prevent an airbag light issue.


With the seats reupholstered and all back together they will hopefully look something like this. Enjoy them!
 

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Holy crap! Note to self... Never re-upholster seats my self. Great Job! Ton of tedious painstaking work.

TY for the tutorial Its work enough to do the job. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Holy crap! Note to self... Never re-upholster seats my self. Great Job! Ton of tedious painstaking work.

TY for the tutorial Its work enough to do the job. lol
Thanks!

Honestly, it really isn't bad at all. It might just seem like it from having to read all my rambling. I had both seats completely done in a couple hours. That was taking my time and taking pictures. So, really It might have only taken an hour for anyone else.
 

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@Shelbyfan73 : Curious. Where did you find the Recaro's?
 

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@Shelbyfan73 : Curious. Where did you find the Recaro's?

To be honest I found them totally by accident. A guy I work with wanted me to check out a Mustang on Craigslist. I never found the Mustang, but, for some reason, I went into the parts for sale section. Lo and behold someone was selling their Recaro seats out of a 2014 Mustang GT only 20 minutes from me.
 

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Absolutely fantastic DIY thread and work!

Thank you for taking the time to take the pictures and document your steps. I know that seriously slows down the project, but it’s a BIG help to your fellow members... nice work!

We “lose” a lot of posts in the “What Did You Do Today” thread. It’s almost impossible for members to find that info in the future. When outstanding members like yourself take the time to make a separate thread, it helps others for many years to come.
 

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To be honest I found them totally by accident. A guy I work with wanted me to check out a Mustang on Craigslist. I never found the Mustang, but, for some reason, I went into the parts for sale section. Lo and behold someone was selling their Recaro seats out of a 2014 Mustang GT only 20 minutes from me.
That's awesome. Good timing. Reason I ask. Not sure if others on here had a similar trek to getting their car but mine was a long up and down journey. The first GT500 I ordered, a black w/black stripes '13 was ordered with 3 options. PP, Recaro's and the pro sound. That's all I wanted. Well. That dealer wound up selling that one out from underneath me. I guess a fella in NY had a bigger check book. The '14 I have is close except the red stripes and standard seats. Found it at a small town dealer here in KY. It had been in their showroom as eye candy for 6 months. They actually took $2k off sticker to move it so I did end up saving a little $ and I couldn't be happier. I was just curious if it was possible to get the seats I originally ordered.

Jon
 

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That's awesome. Good timing. Reason I ask. Not sure if others on here had a similar trek to getting their car but mine was a long up and down journey. The first GT500 I ordered, a black w/black stripes '13 was ordered with 3 options. PP, Recaro's and the pro sound. That's all I wanted. Well. That dealer wound up selling that one out from underneath me. I guess a fella in NY had a bigger check book. The '14 I have is close except the red stripes and standard seats. Found it at a small town dealer here in KY. It had been in their showroom as eye candy for 6 months. They actually took $2k off sticker to move it so I did end up saving a little $ and I couldn't be happier. I was just curious if it was possible to get the seats I originally ordered.

Jon
Wow! What a cruddy thing for that dealer to do. It doesn't surprise me though, with the way so many dealers are now. Glad it all worked out in the end for you!

You can still find the Recaro seats every once in awhile. They have become so popular it is getting harder to find them. Just keep your eyes out for them in all the usual places.
 

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Absolutely fantastic DIY thread and work!

Thank you for taking the time to take the pictures and document your steps. I know that seriously slows down the project, but it’s a BIG help to your fellow members... nice work!

We “lose” a lot of posts in the “What Did You Do Today” thread. It’s almost impossible for members to find that info in the future. When outstanding members like yourself take the time to make a separate thread, it helps others for many years to come.
Thanks, Tim. I have to admit that I really felt more comfortable doing the project after reading a DIY at the other SVT site. It was quite an old thread but had a ton of awesome info in it. It dealt with the whole power base/lumbar retrofit as well. It went into a lot more detail. I only did the cover swap. I didn't think we had one here so I thought I might add one.
 

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Thanks, Tim. I have to admit that I really felt more comfortable doing the project after reading a DIY at the other SVT site. It was quite an old thread but had a ton of awesome info in it. It dealt with the whole power base/lumbar retrofit as well. It went into a lot more detail. I only did the cover swap. I didn't think we had one here so I thought I might add one.
If you ever do a power base swap, my buddy Hardage did a thread on it awhile back:

http://www.fordgt500.com/forums/186-non-performance-modifications/25394-2013-recaro-drivers-side-power-seat-base-install.html
 

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FANTASTIC!!! GREAT write-up! :rocker::rocker::rocker:

Thank you for taking the time to do this. It will benefit many a member and untold numbers of folks out there on the web looking to do this. You, sir, have done your good deed for the day! :wink: (Heck, at least a month!) :grin:
 

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Just a quick update to say that I just finished installing the seats into the car. The install went without a hitch......well, mostly, without a hitch.

My body is no longer made to contort itself into some of the positions required to reinstall the 10 amp fuse for the safety restraint system. It was aggravated by dropping said fuse and it landing behind the kick panel. :frown:

A few bone cracks, muscle pops, and muttered expletives later the fuse was back in it's proper place and all the covers reattached. I reconnected the battery and hoped I didn't get a dreaded airbag light on the dash. Once the car started the airbag light lit up and then immediately went off as normal. Another successful mod in the books!!!!:grin:
 

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Just a quick update to say that I just finished installing the seats into the car. The install went without a hitch......well, mostly, without a hitch.

My body is no longer made to contort itself into some of the positions required to reinstall the 10 amp fuse for the safety restraint system. It was aggravated by dropping said fuse and it landing behind the kick panel. :frown:

A few bone cracks, muscle pops, and muttered expletives later the fuse was back in it's proper place and all the covers reattached. I reconnected the battery and hoped I didn't get a dreaded airbag light on the dash. Once the car started the airbag light lit up and then immediately went off as normal. Another successful mod in the books!!!!:grin:
Congrats on the success!

A picture of your hard work showing the seats in the car would be lovely. :thinkerg:
 

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Congrats on the success!

A picture of your hard work showing the seats in the car would be lovely. :thinkerg:
A picture is definitely in the plan. Right after I posted my update I took the car for a test drive. Then I ended up going to an impromptu Mustang meet at a local eatery. I'll try to get a picture soon. :grin:
 

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Okay everybody, here is the final product installed and happily at home in my car.:wink:


 

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That looks so good and professionally done, it’s time for the “happy-Alf dance!”

:alfdance: :clap:
 
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