How to Cut a 1965 Fold Down Seat to work in your 66-70 Mustang

 

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Cutting a 65 Seat

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Review:
 

 

In this picture the black panel is from a 1970, the red one is from a 1965. Same size, shape and contours except for the area around the hole for the latch.  The 1970 is recessed and has one extra screw hole for the metal latch guide. As pictured, the left screw hole for the latch guide replaces the left most trim screw.  Note as compared to the trim pictured above, that the left screw holes do not line up exactly.

Close up of area discussed above.

Again using the 70 and 65 piece to compare, notice how the top panel is threaded near the outer edge with a 5/16-18 nut for the 66 and later style stop bumper. The 65 only has a regular screw hole for the 65 style round stop bumper.

Rear panels are identical except for these mounting holes for the support plates. Top (blue) is for 65. Note the screw holes to the left edge for the rectangular shaped support plate. Bottom (brown) is for 66-70. Note the holes are moved inboard about two inches, and there is a triangle cut-out for the recess in the oval shaped support plate. You can also see on the carpet how the 65 had chrome trim across the back while the 70 this particular panel came from had just the trapdoor latch catch plate.

 

 


Rear side of both the 65 and 70 are nearly identical. The same brackets are used to hold them in place (pictured to the right of the panels), and they both have the rubber bumper glued to the center of the panel (brown one has lost the rubber, but glue residue remains indicating its presence at some time).  Can you see the difference?  The holes for the brackets are not in the exact same location, they are shifted approximately 1/2" towards the front of the car starting in 1966.

 
   

Cuts, holes, welds to make:

 
  I don't encourage this, only because I see the potential of this information being used nefariously.  If you are making this mod for use on your own personal car, as I did, then fine.  If you are making this mod to make a quick buck on EBay, then shame on you.  I'm going to provide some basic information, but not give away all the answers.

First up is the front panel.  We need to cut a latch hole in the driver side and install some nuts for the 66 and later style rubber stop bumpers.

 
 

This is the driver side of a 65 panel.  I cut a hole for the latch and drilled the holes for the metal latch guide for use in my personal 68 fastback.  Install the trim with the latch hole over this, scribe a line for the hole, and remove the trim again.  There's about 30 little tiny screws that hole the 2 halves of this panel together.  Remove them, separate the 2 halves, and cut along your scribe mark.  Separating the panels will keep the saw blade from cutting the other side of the panel unintentionally.

 
 

Different view.

 

Different view.

 

Here you can see the original screw hole near the top for the 65 style bumper, and I drilled a hole for the bumper the later years used.  First thing you do is install the new chrome trim, and center punch the 3/8" hole in the trim so you know where to drill.  Then remove the trim, and drill a 3/8'' hole in the panel. 

 

There is just enough room in this gap to slide a cut square nut into it.  I got a standard size square nut and ground off the flat face a little bit to make it thinner, just enough that it will slide in the gap.  With the 2 panel halves separated again, weld the square nut in place against the 3/8'' hole.  Put the 2 halves back together and this piece is ready to be cleaned and painted.

 

Different view.

 

Different view.

  Next is the rear panel, and we have to do some mods here too because of the different seat support plates.
 

Here is the standard location of the retaining bracket on the 65 panel. 

 

This is where the retaining bracket needs to be to line up correctly with the oval seat support plate for 66 and later cars.

 

These are the holes I drilled for moving the bracket.

 

On the top of the panel, this is my crude cut of a triangle and 2 new holes for the oval seat support plate.  The oval seat support plate has a depression in it, you will need to have this triangular hole cut to use the oval plate on a 65 panel. 

Now, the key to the mod on this panel is knowing where to cut.  Do you know anybody with a 66-70 panel you can borrow to measure against, or anybody who has a template you can use? 

 
   

Here are the exact panels pictured above cleaned, painted, and assembled.  Except for the underside of the rear panel, which is not seen when installed, there is no way to tell that this is not a genuine 68 fold down seat.

 
     
   

 

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Copyright 2007 Sam Griffith