Purchasing a replacement seat

#1

The seatback on my '98 Ford Contour is going, and I’ll need a new one to pass inspection. Since I found the OEM seat pretty uncomfortable (sink in too much), I’m looking at aftermarket, or one from the “sportier” versions of the Contour.



I was wondering about the “racing” seats the auto parts stores sell…are these tolerable for extended use? (I’m somewhat hesitant to buy a used seat, even from a non-“u-pull-it” yard, for fear that it’d’ve been sitting out for a while.)

#2

Since when is a seat part of a State Inspection???

Most places I go to never even get in the car/truck. I usually sit in there and run the lights.

I sure wouldn’t spend a lot of money on a aftermarket seat that’ll be worth more then the car I’m putting it into.

What exactly is wrong with the seat?? Many seats can be reupholstered. It might be cheaper and actually BETTER then buying a new or even used.

#3

Years ago I replaced the front seat on the 1965 Rambler Classic that I owned. It was the bottom of the line model. My wife wanted individual front seats that was an option on the Rambler. I obtained a pair of individual front seats at a salvage yard from a 1964 Rambler that was a higher trim line. These seats were more comfortable and the upholstery was good.

In your case, I think I would call salvage yards and inquire about a seat that might fit. It could be from a newer Contour or the equivalent Mercury nameplate and should bolt right in. The salvage yard will know for certain. If it comes from a higher trim line or a newer Ford Contour, it may be more comfortable than the seat you presently have.

I have no idea whether or not a racing seat can be adapted.

#4

MikeinNH, the seatback has literally broken off of the bottom of the seat on one side (where it pivots). I’ve temporarily bolted it into place, but don’t want to drive like that any longer than necessary, for safety reasons.

Also, though they market them as such, these don’t seem to be “racing” seats so much as bling for the tuner set. The few examples I’ve come across in colors other than “smurf blue/gatorade orange” don’t look half bad…

#5

Racing seats do not have the sensors necessary for the seatbelt warnings and may not function properly with your electronic controls if you have them. They may also not be the correct height for the airbags to properly function. And they’re not designed for long lazy trips in shorts and a T-shirt. They’'re designed to keep the driver in one place rather than allow him to move around to prevent the sort of fatigue we endure.

A search of the internet will locate some replacement seats, but I think the best bet is to go with direct aftermarket replacements.

#6

I think it’s still worth having someone look at repairing the seat. Maybe weld in a bracket. I had to fix the seat pan on my 98 Pathfinder that my daughter drives. He BF has been driving it a lot lately and he’s 6’5 310. The pan broke off at one of the brackets. I just put a brace in there to hold it up better. Works great…It can even hold my daughters BF. A NEW seat (especially a racing seat) is going to cost a minimum of $500…maybe even as high as $1500. I can’t see spending the money on a car that might be worth $2k.

Another option is to buy one from a salvage yard that’s in good condition. Then have it reupholstered.

#7

Someone at a Contour board might know if seats from other FoMoCo vehicles will plug in or fit with minimal mods.

#8

An upholstery shop can fix the seat in about an hour. And I do mean the steel frame.

#9

Cross the "racing seat "off your list, check on replacement parts for your seat. GM had major seat bottom breakage problems on their early 90’s fullsize pickups (campaign issue) it was not hard to remove upholestry and replace the broken frame,maybe Ford gives you a break on parts.